Ring! Ring! Ring! Your alarm clock sounds at 6:00 AM. You roll over and hit snooze thinking, “I really do not want to go to school today.” Maybe you’re especially tired from being up so late the night before, or perhaps you’re freezing since winter is fast approaching, and your bed feels exceptionally warm. It is so easy to just say, “nope, no way,” and lay back down. However, what isn’t so easy is trying to catch up on all the things you missed while you were out.
During the first quarter of this year, an average of fifty students were absent one or more times per week. While examining the number of absences, something interesting stumbled upon was that the largest amount of absences, 67, occurred on a three-day week; this three-day week was also the week of PSAT’s (Oct. 12-16). The following week, which just so happened to be spirit week (Oct. 19-23), the amount of absences were significantly smaller than previous weeks, coming in at 43.
Though it may seem like there’s pressure on many students to come to school the full 180 days, the goal isn’t to have never have an absence; the chance of that happening is quite impossible. Schools understand that sometimes students feel a tad bit under the weather and they cannot come to school, or maybe a close relative of the student recently passed away and they need some time off to cope. Regardless of the reason for the absence- assuming it is a lawful reason- three vital things to remember are to: get the absence excused, get the make-up work, and turn in that make-up work for a grade.
There are ample ways to excuse an absence from school. One way is writing a note to explain why the student was absent, including the date of the absence and the student’s grade with their I.D. number. Next, have the parent or guardian of the student sign the note, justifying the absence. The student should then bring the note to school the next day they are present and give it to the attendance secretary in the main office, or hand it to one of their teachers (preferably their first period teacher) who can deliver the note to the main office.
Another way that an absence can be excused is online. On the Leonardtown High School website, there is a link at the top that can be clicked saying “Report a Student Absence.” Once clicked, a new page will pop up with sections of information about the student to fill in. The rest is self-explanatory, really; just fill in the information and press submit at the bottom of the page. All done!
Once the absence is excused, the next most important thing to do is to get the makeup work. To see what the student missed, they should check HAC or Moodle, depending upon what each teacher uses. Sometimes it is best to ask the teacher directly what work or notes a student missed, whether by email or in person. When a student is absent, it’s important to always keep in mind that some teachers have a large amount of students to keep track of. Because of this, it’s not uncommon for teachers to overlook if/when one particular student was absent, and whether or not they’ve given them their makeup work. Always make sure to remind the student’s teachers of an absence and ask for makeup work.
Last, but definitely not least, always turn in any makeup work once it is finished. This is arguably the most important step because even if the student completes all the makeup work to the best of their ability, they will not receive credit for all their hard work if it’s not turned it in. Every student has five days, starting from the first day they are present in school again, to hand in any makeup work for a grade.
The goal is to encourage students to come to school, even when they do not feel like it. However, if the student absolutely cannot come for lawful reasons, the school will be understanding. The three things that teachers want a student to remember when they are absent are: getting the absence excused, whether online or by handwritten note; obtaining any makeup work/missed notes; turning in all makeup work within the five-day period granted to students who are absent.
Everything schools do is in preparation for the real world, the jobs and lives students are to have after high school. Practice good habits now, and they will stick with you forever.