Over 100 enrolled in Morton East Recovery Program


120 students are currently in the Morton East recovery program.

As many of you readers know, Morton East has implemented a new attendance policy. Nationally, on average one in six children miss 15 or more days of school in a year and are considered chronically absent. The school to combat this issue a new policy that only allows 6 excused absences with no reason. To be excused after that the parent must bring prove of why the child was absent. There must be 3 interventions before the student can be put it in MARP (Morton attendance recovery program) once a student is ay 16 unexcused absences the student is at risk of being put in the program. The program only allows students to recover half of the credits. As of December, there are more the 120 students in this program.

“As the program continues into the semester, more and more students are being dropped from their classes daily.  Today, we have over 32 students with less than 3 weeks left in the 1st semester.  Students who are dropped now need to make up 5 classes in less than 3 weeks.  Most of the students have no clue that they are putting their graduating status in jeopardy.  There are no seats left in the room,” MARP teacher Ms. Doris Tobin said.

However, some staff feel that the new program has helped students and has motivated them.

“Overall, there has been an increase in our attendance since last year; we have  85% attendance expect for November  where we went down in attendance,” assistant principal Carol Best said.

MARP students may have some regrets.

“I regret that I didn’t do my work, and that I didn’t go to class (when I had the chance),” one anonymous MARP student said.

The online work is rigorous and extensive.

“The hardest thing about (the recovery program) is actually coming into the school, and doing the work,” the MARP student said.

Yet, students who are successful completing these classes online will recover credits and hopefully return to day school next semester.

“This is a good oppportunity,” another anonymous MARP student said.

In addition, some security guards feel like it helps students out with their maturity.

“I think it effects their attendance in a good way — especially for seniors. It helps them complete their work and helps them with their grades. Juniors are stepping up to the plate and sophomores need to mature. I think it has helped attendance.”  Mrs. Dolores D’Angelo, security at Morton East, said.

Student with extended illnesses and medical absences aren’t generally put into the recovery program.  But, you can only get the absences cleared with medical documentation.

“(My family and I) were stressing out because I would not want to be suspended or go to night school just because (I was sick.). The doctor was not  cooperative so it took my mom basically begging the doctor’s office for something to just give to the school (until) they finally gave us a paper. Keep in mind I didn’t get my results yet. My mom went back to the school with that paper. I know  the school is just following procedures,  and it’s not that they think I’m bluffing and it’s just precautions (on their part), but it sucks — basically getting threatened with that stuff while being sick,” an anonymous student at Morton East said.