Opinion & Review

Misleading Attendance Policy Stumps Students

The attendance policy is a frustrating topic that is a reoccurring issue among many students that participate in extracurricular activities. In this aspect, the student handbook is misleading. It mentions three separate times when students can be late but still participate in after school activities.

Under the “Impact on Athletics and Extracurricular Activities section, it explains, “A student must be in school by 8:30 am and attend all of his classes (with the exception of a scheduled appointment) to be eligible to participate in athletic practices, games, artistic performances, or any extracurricular activities.”

While 8:30 am is what the administration conveys as the set time, the handbook notes two other times as well. One is under the “Theater Arts Department Rules and Policies” where it states, “A student must be in school by 10:45 am and must attend three full classes in order to participate in a rehearsal or performance.”

The other is noted under the “Athletic Rules and Policies” section where it states,A student must be in school by 10:30 am and must attend three full classes in order to participate in practice or games unless excused by the Headmaster, Upper School Head or Dean of Students.”  

The Director of Academics, Mr. Franklin, explained, “So I think that both of those – the Athletics and Theater Arts ones – are older versions that just didn’t get updated like the Upper School one Mr. Mitchell and I update every year. The athletics one with Mr. Thomas and the arts with Mrs. Molling probably haven’t been updated, so it has just stayed [that way] year to year.  So if it’s 10:30, 10:45, that was sort of the whole model, and that was really just based around the MIAA.”

Now the administration obviously wants what is in the best interest for every student.  However, the attendance policy needs to be more consistent. So how is it possible to have three different times for extracurricular activities?

Coach Schell, the varsity football coach, when asked about this topic, responded, “It doesn’t make sense to me why we don’t follow the MIAA rules. What’s the difference between a play, robotics, or a football game? If you gave any special cases for let’s say lacrosse, everyone would think they were getting special treatment, which everyone already thinks.”

Lacrosse is used in Coach Schell’s example to prove a point of why there cannot be multiple start times for extracurricular activities. Lacrosse, along with every other sport, has to follow these start times or else the students will not be able to play. 

There have been many problems with attendance due to this inconsistency with the handbook as it is now. Many students are confused with understanding the attendance policy of athletics and extracurricular activities.

For example, senior Pat Stahl said, “I think the set time at 10:30 is fair” in regard to an appropriate time for students to come into school and still be able to participate in extracurricular activities with an appropriate excuse.

When other Boys’ Latin students were asked about reviewing the handbook, they responded:

“No, I never have,” Brett Friedman, ’17.

“No, I have never reviewed it,” Hayden Kovinsky, ’16. Daniel Norman, ’18, had a similar answer.

“I knew you had to be in school by a certain time but didn’t know the specifics,” Matt Post, ’18.

“No,” Noah Labonte Clark, ’16.

“Somewhat, I don’t really know”Andrew Lee, ’18.

Obviously, part of the problem lies with students who do not read the handbook. However, a more clearly communicated attendance policy might clear up some of the misinformation as well.

The administration needs to publicize the extracurricular policy better and make the handbook clearer. The students understand the administration wants what’s best for all students, but there are certainly a few questions and concerns that need to be addressed regarding the Impact on Athletics & Extracurricular Activities.   

Categories: Opinion & Review

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