OPINION: My thoughts on the attendance system

Like many other people, the students of McIntosh are prone to being late when things happen. However, when something takes place that you couldn’t control, it may seem unfair that you’re facing the consequences of being tardy.

It seems especially unfair when you’re relying on your attendance exam exemption come the time for final exams.

The weather, for instance, plays a major role in when students get to school. If it’s raining really hard some students that normally drive their golf cart to school may get a ride from their parents that morning, resulting in more car traffic on top of all the rain. More car traffic also affects students that take the bus to school because their bus has to battle all the traffic as well. However, while the students that ride the bus and are tardy are excused, students that get to school in a car are not.

Then there are the students that still drive their golf carts to school regardless of the pouring down rain. Those students need to be extremely cautious because of the slippery paths and the rain that obscures their vision. While they’re worried about not crashing the golf cart, they’re also worried about getting to school on time. I can understand why there’s no exception for tardies on a normal-weather kind of day, but when there are so many students that are tardy on a pouring-down-rain kind of day, I believe there should be an exception for those tardies (in regards to the status of their attendance exam exemption).

When you’re really relying on that attendance exemption, every tardy counts because they determine if you can exempt an exam or not. I don’t think students should have to face the consequences of being tardy because of circumstances that are out of their control.

A personal experience of mine happened last semester in October. I was very sick at home with a fever and ended up missing almost an entire week of school. I came to school Friday regardless of my high temperature and couldn’t make it past fourth period. I just found it ironic that we’re told not to come to school when we’re sick, yet there’s a consequence for abiding. I even got every single day I missed excused by my doctor. While those days were excused in infinite campus, they still affected my attendance exam exemption.

Another experience I had was on my way to school I realized my golf cart tire was flat. I stopped to put some air in it. The tire wouldn’t hold much air at all. But since we were very close to the school we kept driving and successfully got to school. The point is, we were late and now we all have lost one day on our attendance exam exemption status. The golf cart tire being flat was out of our control and something we couldn’t have stopped from happening. Personally, I think that there’s no point in excusing absences if they still count against our attendance exemptions.

This leads me to my next point: having a different attendance system. The change could be as small as adding a couple of days to the number of tardy occurrences we can have before losing our attendance exemption. There could also be a bigger change: completely excusing certain tardies and/or absences from one’s attendance exam exemption status. Say a student was sick for a few days and gets all of their absences excused by their doctor. With a different attendance system, that student’s absences would be dismissed and they wouldn’t have to worry about losing their attendance exam exemption.

However, there are some students that would take advantage of a more lenient attendance system. And those students could be one of the main reasons as to why there would be no exception for certain attendance occurrences. There are also students that could really benefit from it and keep that attendance exam exemption they’re relying on. I feel like if the administration doesn’t want to make exceptions for certain occurrences then a better alternative option would be to increase the number of occurrences you can have before you can’t use your attendance exam exemption. Overall, I believe that a different, more lenient attendance system would be more beneficial and leave students much less frustrated for losing their attendance exemption. Whether it be because of weather, traffic, or other circumstances that were out of your hands, I think there could be a different, more beneficial attendance system.