January 19, 2018 at 5:32 PM #43094
Absences due to sicknesses or the occasional appointment, emergency, funeral, or wedding are one thing, but those due to vacations, work at home, relatively mundane family events, etc. are a real burr under my saddle. Have you found any measures that effectively limit these kinds of absences?
January 19, 2018 at 9:25 PM #43096
And those orthodontist appointments that are always scheduled for the same class period every couple of weeks…
Our school has a limited number of days that students can take off for “unnecessary” absences. Even these are somewhat limited in what is excused. A family (vacation) trip must be immediate family and so on. If a student uses up more days or needs to take time off that isn’t covered in our excused absences policy they need permission from the school board, principal, and the teacher(s). An unexcused absence results in zeros in the day’s grades, with the work still needing to be made up.
This policy has been both a help and a hindrance. It does limit an individual’s amount of time off; but some students/parents seem to feel it is then their right to use up all of the allotted days.
The school administration has been very open about unnecessary absences being a problem for teachers and students and discourage it as much as possible. Most parents are understanding and try to work with the school on this.
January 21, 2018 at 10:00 PM #43107
I understand the question and deep frustration and have done my share of griping. I also understand that our affluent society has greatly contributed to this problem and see teachers themselves taking off far more frequently than in the past.
About a year ago our school board came up with a plan to help address this ongoing issue, the plan was put into effect fall 2017. When pleasure trips are taken, parents pay each child’s teacher $10 per day. While it does not eliminate the problem, it is a tangible way parents acknowledge the extra work and I find it ends up feeling different to me as I put in added hours when I know there is a measure of compensation.
It helps to remember that many (actually, by far most) parents very carefully plan around the school schedule — like the mother who consulted me before making an eye appointment for her son and then when we had an unexpected day off last week due to extreme cold, she called in to the eye doctor to see if there had been any cancellations. Indeed there was a slot available and she snatched it up. I really appreciated that.
January 23, 2018 at 8:30 AM #43115
I wish there was an easy solution to this problem. While I understand that appointments will frequently need to be scheduled during the school day, I find it increasingly difficult to manage the missed class work and schedule changes. I am hoping that increasing communication (clarifying class schedules and missed class work policies) with the parents and placing more responsibility on the students to complete the necessary work and communicate with their teachers about missing classes will help eliminate the time teachers spend assisting students with missed class work.
January 27, 2018 at 2:28 PM #43231
Thanks for the comments. It’s always good to be reminded that many parents and students do try to avoid unnecessary absences.
Our school has a policy very similar to the one that Carolyn mentioned, and by now I think parents and students have a clear idea what’s required of them. I’m sure there are fewer absences than there would be without this policy. The financial incentive Betty mentioned sounds good, naturally, but I would have to muster up a lot of something to actually propose this to my board. 🙂
Any other solutions?
June 8, 2019 at 9:40 AM #72878
Summer may be a good time for your board to review student absence policies before the next term is upon you. An excellent resource to consider as you review your policies is a CASBI recording entitled “Establishing School Absence Policies” Along with its accompanying notes, it offers helpful direction in crafting your own school’s policies. See
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