New Skip-a-Final policy implemented to prevent students from skipping school

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According to Assistant Principal Toby Steele, students who miss school on a day when 35 percent or more of their class is missing will automatically be ineligible for the Skip-a-Final program unless they have a doctor’s note or a medically related reason for missing school that day.
Steele said the policy is not new, but the percent of students gone in order for the policy to take effect has been changed from previous semesters’ requirement of 20 percent.
“(The policy) was aimed at keeping students in school on days when they may try organizing an event, such as Senior Skip Day,” Steele said. “This was put in place to enforce the expectation that (CHS) has that attendance is important (and) that anytime you miss school, it is a loss of opportunity to learn.”
Administrators changed the policy from 20 percent to 35 percent of students missing because of numbers taken from days in the past in order to “create a policy that did not take away a student’s opportunity for Skip-a-Final, if, for some reason or another, maybe a lot of students were absent,” according to Steele.
“But at the same time,” Steele said, “we wanted to put in place a policy that provided a benchmark, where there needs to be a deterrent for students missing in mass. That 35 percent was what the administration felt was a good number, where if that many students were missing, it was because of some generated cause, such as Senior Skip Day.”
Steele said it is important to note that the policy was not put in place as a “punitive or disciplinary measure,” but just as a way to reinforce the importance of attendance.
However, senior William “Will” Baach said he still believes the policy is unfair. According to Baach, it is usually a tradition to have a Senior Skip Day just after prom.
“At this point in the year, all seniors have committed to colleges,” he said. “After four years of hard work at high school, I feel like seniors deserve a break from the administration, not a harsh policy attacking a long-standing senior tradition.”