Attendance Takes A Toll


Attendance has been quite the issue lately with the new 2021-2022 school year. The students are having trouble being on time to class, and the teachers are having trouble getting them there. Last year all many students had to do was charge their laptops and log on, but now we actually have to move to get to our classes on time. According to Doherty High School the tardies have been through the roof, especially right after lunch. Class periods after lunch have been the classes that receive the most tardies; with one day totaling “over 300” tardies in just the class period after lunch.

The lunch sessions are currently 39 minutes long when including the passing period. Students are saying it is difficult for them to make it to any place for lunch and back and be on time. Doherty freshman Kylee Mercer said that “it is difficult for me to make it to 7/11 and back in time.” 7/11 is about a two-minute walk from the school. Many students have called for longer lunch periods due to issues such as this.

 When contemplating raising lunch time limits, students must take into consideration the fact that the school has to plan around the Colorado state laws. The 2021-2022 student handbook states,  “Secondary school students must attend school for 1056 hours in a school year,” when referring to the Colorado state laws regarding student attendance. This requires administrators to work around logistics to allow adequate time for lunch while still getting students enough learning time to reach legal requirements.

For the most part when students are late or absent from school they have their parents call the school, which allows the school to mark the student as an excused absence. Those excused absences are used for when students are on vacation, sick, etc. Students will be having to retake credits if they do not get enough hours of schooling. However, in the last few years, that rule has changed up a little due to COVID-19. Due to school being off-campus some of last year, the rules were still in place, but there was much more leniency as it was a hard enough time for everyone. This year though, the rules are back in place and being enforced again.

Many students state that they are not excited to go to school because of the stress. When asked, Freshman Payton Cordova says, “The stress of getting to school in the morning is sometimes just so overwhelming. It actually makes it harder to get to school on time.” Out of the three people we have talked to, they all say that it is much easier for them to get to school without being tardy on Mondays, due to the late start at 9:23. For every day that a student misses, the school calculates the number of classes absent by the number of classes the student had that day. If you missed a Monday that would be equivalent to three absences. If you missed Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday would be equivalent to four absences. If you missed a Friday, then you will be marked with 7 absences.

 According to Principal Flenniken, they have put a rule in place that after three tardies they will send the student to student support services and give them a lunch detention. For those who do not know what Student Support Services is at Doherty high school, it is for those who need a little extra help; like for instance, those who have more than three tardies.