Attendance incentive to continue


Faith Douglass

Attendance clerk Jennifer Douglass talks with a parent about a student’s absence.

The attendance incentive allowing eligible students to skip semester exams will continue this year.

The school implemented the incentive last school year to increase student attendance. Under this system, students with a semester grade of 80 or above in a class and three or fewer absences, or a 70 or above in a class and perfect attendance, are exempt from semester testing for that class.

“It is possible you could earn the incentive in some classes but not other classes,” Principal Tim Gilliland said. “This is a semester program, so in January, we’ll start all over and do it again that semester.”

Gilliland said if students are sick, they should stay home rather than risk spreading the illness to other students.

“When we can, we want students to be in class,” Gilliland said. “When they’re sick, we want them to do the next smart thing and stay home and use one of their three days and then come back and be healthy.”

Partial day absences with doctor’s notes do not count against the incentive.

If you can just get through school on those days you don’t really feel like going, it’ll be worth it in the end.”

— Drew Bonds, 12

“If you miss more than the majority of the day, it’s an excused absence,” Gilliland said. “If students will get there and come back and still be in attendance for the majority of the day, and bring their doctor’s note, that’s called a partial day absence.”

Any full day absence will count against the incentive, regardless of a doctor’s note.

“If you’re not here all day, you’re not here,” attendance clerk Jennifer Douglass said. “There’s no way around it unless it’s a school sponsored event.”

Students who do not use all of their three absences have the opportunity to take a three-week Christmas break.

“Just putting that thing on the calendar. That’s three days you can essentially have off to yourself if you just show up to school,” senior Drew Bonds said. “You can get a three-week vacation for Christmas–that’s like a fourth of summer. If you can just get through school on those days you don’t really feel like going, it’ll be worth it in the end.”