Is perfect attendance important?

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Eris Rindt, Reporter

In many cases, high school students are facing problems with being more absent than any other grade. According to the NHS handbook, in order for students to achieve academic success and be as career ready as possible, they must attend school regularly. 

Students and their guardians can easily check how many absences they have by looking at their infinite campus, the student information system used by USD 373. The website includes a section that shows not only the amount of days a student has missed but also the exact date missed. 

“I think it is hard to have perfect attendance,” senior Daisy Buller said. “This year, I have missed several days to go visit colleges, have doctors appointments, or from being sick. There are obligations that many students have outside of school that can only be done during the school day, as many places close shortly after school gets out.”

If a student misses more than 10 days of school that means they are chronically absent according to the attendance section of the NHS handbook. Overall 20% of students are chronically absent according to The Department of Education. On the website of The Department of Education it shows statistics that the amount of chronic absences have a pattern of increasing through ages, as high school students often have the most absences compared to any other grade level.

When I miss a day or even just a class I have to find extra time out of my day to complete those assignments,” sophomore Kourtney Wrench said. “I think that having [perfect attendance] is always important to help keep your mental health up, because if you are behind and you are doing a different schedule everyday you might feel overwhelmed and even stressed.”

Some colleges like Kansas State University let their students take mental health days according to The Topeka Capital-Journal. Information from a school-wide survey states that approximately 78% of students at NHS think that perfect attendance is not important to them in particular.

Schools shouldn’t expect perfect attendance and I hope they don’t,” freshman Aliyah Rossiter said. “Kids always have a time when they get sick, overwhelmed with all the schoolwork and need a second or a day to cool off, or family problems. I think it is harder to have perfect attendance than people think, things happen and it is hard to worry about your school attendance when there are more important things in your life.”

If a student at NHS misses three consecutive days or any five days a semester or any seven days a school year they can be reported for truancy according to the NHS Handbook. The number of absences to deem truant is up to the school according to the Johnson County District Attorney. When a student is convicted of truancy the student’s guardians receive a notice. Sometimes, if the absence still occurs then police action may be taken since it is a requirement for students between the ages of seven and 18 to go to school according to the Criminal Defence Lawyer

“I think we should all worry about it, if you have a bad attendance it will show others you are not dependable,” senior Medora LaRose said. “My attendance is what I always worry about, except if I have appointments. I think it is how my teachers look at me. If I skip all the time I will always be known as a skipper who doesn’t try to be on time, and then that’s how others look at me.”

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