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The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

The student news site of Manitou Springs High School

The Prospector

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MSHS enacts new attendance policy

A+full+class+of+MSHS+students+work+on+assignments+in+study+hall+on+Sept.+12.+MSHS+administrators+and+teachers+believe+that+students+learn+better+when+they+attend+school+consistently.+
Krissy Stout
A full class of MSHS students work on assignments in study hall on Sept. 12. MSHS administrators and teachers believe that students learn better when they attend school consistently.

This school year, Manitou Springs High School took on a new policy for attendance. Anna Conrad, Manitou Springs High School’s principal, is enforcing a new attendance policy this year due to too many unexcused absences, excused absence and tardies.

Conrad as well as other groups, like the District Accountability Committee (DAC) worked through this policy last year. According to Conrad, there are many “challenges around students missing a lot of school.”

Conrad and the rest of the district team want to create a uniform expectation across all four of the schools in the district, like what counts as an excused absence and how many can count. “When kids are at school, they do better in their classes, anxiety decreases, they have more positive social connections, and that helps them come to school more and ultimately be more successful in reaching their own goals,” Conrad said. 

The families of the student can call in an excuse just like always up to 10 days, or 10 blocks whether that’s a family related thing or a student is ill or you have an appointment of some sort. Once students get to 10 days or 10 blocks missed even if it excused, then the school reaches out and schedules a meeting with students and the family to highlight that 10 days have been missed in the particular class or total days. That is to just make sure everyone’s on the same page that attendance is important and what they can do to remove any obstacles and help students get the best education possible. After that, once it gets to 15 days, if a student continues to miss, then at 16 they become unexcused absences unless there’s documentation.

Conrad provided an example. “If you got sick and went to the doctor, then getting documentation of having the flu would count still as excused absences,” she said. If that was not provided, it would be an unexcused absence and could possibly lead to truancy. 

Natalee Reeves (10) has concerns about how this policy is going to affect students who can’t get to school. “A lot of kids are unable to get to school on time because of certain problems at home, and I feel like they should be a little more laid back,” Reeves said. She doesn’t believe it helps students’ learning because students get pulled out of class to talk about absences and tardies, taking away from class time.

Conrad makes it her goal to work with families and kids to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Her goal is for kids to be at school and be supported, not only in being able to be here but just in general. She wants to provide clarity and there was not much in previous years.

Stu Jeck, a teacher and coach at MSHS, believes that the new policy is helpful in making sure that students are at school and believes that even though students can learn at home, school is where students learn best. “Our ultimate goal is to try to keep kids in school as much and possible,” Jeck said. “That’s where most of the growth happens and that’s where most of the learning happens.”

Conrad is worried that credits could be impacted as well as the students not getting the content due to them not being in the classroom, therefore the grades would drop and it would impact not only the kids but the staff as well. “It’s really difficult for teachers to follow up individually with a bunch of different students if they’re absent and keep track of who has been there,and how to support them in catching up and instruction,” Conrad said. “We want to make sure that it’s a positive experience for everyone.” 

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Krissy Stout, Senior Reporter
Krissy Stout is currently a sophomore at Manitou Springs High School. She has a dog named Ellie, a fish named Fish and a snail named Theodore. She enjoys baking with her grandma, shopping with friends and Saturday mornings. She dislikes messy backpacks and having nothing to wear. She’s excited to bring a fresh perspective by writing for The Prospector.
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