Attendance policy change at KHS next year


Sophie Sears

After a year of no attendance policy because of COVID-19, KHS will be implementing the old attendance policy next year.

Dr. Mike Havener reported that the attendance policy from before COVID-19 will be reinstated next year at the April 27 KHS department chair meeting. The policy sets the rules for what is considered an excused and unexcused absence, along with setting punishments when a student has too many absences. 

Currently, KHS does not have an attendance policy. Dr. Havener said this is because healthcare professionals had been telling people to stay home if they felt sick, and having an attendance policy could stop kids from taking proper precautions. But with the spread of COVID-19 starting to diminish, Dr. Havener hopes the change back to the old policy will keep kids in classes. 

“We want [you] to be in class, we want [you] to be on time, we want [you] to be ready to learn,” Dr. Havener said. “[Attendance] isn’t intended to be a gotcha, it’s intended to [show that class] is important, and [the district] saw drastic increases in attendance when [the old attendance policy] was in place.” 

We want [you] to be in class, we want [you] to be on time, we want [you] to be ready to learn.

— Dr. Havener

Excused and unexcused absences were treated differently in the old policy. Excused absences were treated as a problem if a student reached 11 total absences for a class. On the other hand, a student could receive punishment for six unexcused absences. A student who surpasses five unexcused or 10 total absences will lose credit for that respective class. They will also have to go to an attendance review with their parents where they talk with their grade level administrator and counselor over attendance concerns and what’s best for the student. But, before a student can get enough absences to lose credit for a class, the school will notify a student’s parents at the 3rd or 5th unexcused absence, or at the 8th or 10th total absence.

The tardy policy will stay the same next year with anyone showing up to a class less than 15 minutes after it started being considered tardy, and anyone showing up more than 15 minutes after it started being counted as absent. While the current plan is to reinstate the old attendance policy, Dr. Havener said that it could change in the future. 

“You never know what’s gonna happen with COVID-19 or anything else out there,” Dr. Havener said. “[The old attendance policy] is coming back, however, you and I both don’t know what’s gonna happen between now and August.”