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Missing in Action: All About Attendance Policies


Attendance has been a standing issue at Roseville Area High School, and the administration has taken various precautions to improve student attendance.

According to Principal Jennifer Wilson, there are about 500 students who come to school late on any given Wednesday. In addition, last year, there were 77,000 unverified absences. She said, “We already know the research says that you have to be in class to pass class…we were looking at all the data, whether it was attendance, grades, or ACT scores, and saw attendance was a really big concern.”

Teachers have also noticed the connection between attendance and students passing their classes. Teacher Kaylin Burton said, “I’ve known students who try to “game the system” by skipping class and then trying to figure things out on their own through resources posted on Schoology. Some of these students will be able to pass doing this, which reinforces the thought that they can continue to learn this way, but the classes at RAHS are not designed for remote learning….Missing instruction, relationships with teachers, collaboration with peers, practice through formative work, and all else that comes from an in-person class equates to learning that is lost when students don’t attend.”

Attendance precautions in the 2022/2023 school year included sweeps, where, at the beginning of class, teachers would close and lock doors, and administrators would ‘sweep’ the halls, writing down the names of students in the hallways. Students would then receive warnings about their tardiness.

Sweeps that took place last year seem to have a stressful reaction from students. Senior Naomi Kramer said, “Sweeps last year stressed me out a bit at the beginning when they first became a thing, but I was never caught in a sweep, so they never affected me. I had a couple of friends who got caught in a sweep once, but I never knew anyone who was negatively impacted.”

This year, however, the school has implemented ‘unofficial sweeps,’ This is where administrators will ‘sweep’ the entire building, and students will not be penalized for being late to class like last year, but rather, they will be escorted to class.

Now, Dr. Wilson has also introduced a new measure: Wednesday meetings. She said, “I mean, you can only admire a problem for so long, and my office is right there [by the main entrance], and the number of students coming late on Wednesday was substantially higher than any other day…so what we did was from 9:00-9:05, we gave students a pass to class, and from 9:05-9:25, we stopped everyone and had them come to meetings in the auditorium, and we shared talking points about attendance, and with that meeting, we only had 200 students that came late on Wednesday.”

Students, however, have mixed feelings about these Wednesday meetings. Sophomore Astou Dione said, “I don’t think it’s fair to sweep kids on Wednesday for being a little late, especially when people don’t really do anything the first five min of class. If it’s later than that, though, I believe the school is taking the right precautions.”

One way students feel that attendance can be improved is by teachers encouraging students. Freshman Koa Houa Chee Vang said, “I feel they [teachers] should just help and encourage kids to go to class and just participate more…If a student views school in a bad way, it’s hard to change that, so teachers should try and motivate students.”

Attendance isn’t a problem just at RAHS; it extends to many Minnesota schools. An article that reports on this issue, written by the Star Tribune, can be found here.

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About the Contributor
Naima Sheikh-Mohamed
Naima Sheikh-Mohamed, Editor-in-Chief
I’m a co editor in chief and this is my third year on The Ville. I’m a senior, and some things I like to do are cook, take walks, and watch TV. A fun fact about me is that my birthday is on Halloween.

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