Morton East implements new attendance policy

Morton East High school has implemented a new attendance policy this year that will help unexcused absences. 

According to Walden University, Nationally, on average one in six children miss 15 or more days of school in a year and are considered chronically absent. In 2015, the U.S. secretary of education and other federal officials responded to this perceived crisis, urging communities to “support every student, every day to attend and be successful in school. In their open letter, they urge schools that students missing 10% or more of school days excused or unexcused “is a primary cause of low academic achievement.” In a random survey of 108 Morton East students, 26 students out of 108 missed more than 10 days of school last year. 

So, how many students could potentially be dropped?

  “There is more than 10% of students that could potentially be dropped out for fall semester and roughly 12% that could be dropped the second semester which is around 300 to 400 students,” assistant principal Dr. Michael Parrie said.

In response to this absence crisis that came from Covid-19, Morton East High updated its attendance policy this year, The new policy allows Morton to drop no-show students into night school. 

“Morton east staff must make 3 interventions before dropping students out of day school regardless of absences, “Morton East principal Jose Gamboa said.

These interventions have many parents confused about what counts as an unexcused absence and an excused absence. 

“Como padre, me preocupa que la escuela no tenga claro cuándo puedo llamar un día como justificado. Esta nueva póliza me tiene confundido a mí y mi esposo,” A concerned parent Amari Luz said. 

Although many parents disagree with this new change in attendance many staff members and teachers are happy that the attendance policy has got a well-deserved update. 

“An update was much needed it was long time coming, it was pretty complicated, there is a committed, and so I think it will raise the bar. It reflects what we are doing and every time we raise the bar for our Morton students they rise to the occasion and so we’re hoping that attendance will improve because of our stricter policy,” Another Assistant principal Ms. Carol Best said.

In spite of these changes, many of the students will have a chance to recover credits in a night school that wasn’t possible in previous attendance policies giving many Morton east students a breathing space and support. 

“These new policy changes seem to promote better attendance than my last year in Morton where my fellow peers did not really care for their attendance or the consequences that they could be held to,” Former East student Stephanie Lopez said.