New exemption policy

In recognition of the new attendance and mandatory finals policy, the staff of the HiHerald thank the administration.

Staff Editorial

The administration explains that the purpose of the attendance incentive policy is to “encourage integrity amongst academic behaviors.” Part of the revisions for this year’s policy differs from last year when virtual learning was incorporated throughout the year. The criteria for the updated policy is as follows: 

  • No more than three assignments that are late or not turned in (per class)
  • No instances of academic dishonesty (plagiarism, cheating)
  • No instances of refusal to participate in teacher requested tutorial sessions
  • No instances of detention or suspension
  • No more than two tardies or two tardies per block period (per class)
  • No unexcused absences (per class)
  • No more than two parent requested personal days
    • This typically comes into play when a parent requests days of absence for personal-related reasons (i.e. taking an additional day either side of a long weekend, a several day vacation, leaving a day early to go to attend a family function out of town, etc.).
  • If a student earns an A in the course and has exceeded the number of parent-requested personal day absences in criteria #7, they will not be required to take the final in that class.  However, if they have lost exemption for any other criteria (#1 through #6), they will still be required to take that final. 

Sick days that do not count against the unexcused attendance policy are beneficial to the health and safety for students and teachers. Otherwise without this standard, students would come to school sick in order to not get docked against the test exemption policy. Therefore making exceptions helps reduce the spread of any sickness. Given the circumstances of the current pandemic and flu season, this rule is in the best interest of keeping our school safer. 

Another rule, being “no more than three assignments which are late or not turned in” resulting in the loss of finals exemption is a great way to encourage students into doing their homework on time. This, in turn, can help students perform better in school if they are incentivized to complete work. Late assignments have been a huge problem recently, so this is an effective way to combat that issue. 

The final and 8th standard for attendance is also an adequate rule. As long as students have an acceptable attendance that only exceeds the parent-requested personal days and hold an A grade for the class, a finals test could only drag the grade down, making it consequential. We appreciate the willingness of those in charge to recognize the fairness of what record constitutes test exemption or not.

Collectively, the staff of the HiHerald appreciates the current state of the attendance policy and there being no mandatory final as a way to reward hard-working students.