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New Attendance Policy Can Keep Students from Walking at Graduation (UPDATE!)

Andrew Nourie | anourie19@dtechhs.org | April 16, 2019

Follow up email sent by Student Cultuer Coordinator Henry Lonnemann, clarifying senior attendance policy.

UPDATE (See original article below): On April 18, Student Culture Coordinator Henry Lonnemann sent an update to the senior class. The email reads: “If you recieve more than 3 Unexcused Absences for the same class, i.e., Advisory of English 4, you will not be able to walk at graduation.” Amidst confusion over the first policy, this clarification gives seniors more room for error than originally thought: Instead of missing any three given periods resulting in seniors not walking at graduation, as originally stated by “three absences” in the original email, seniors must get three unexcused absences in the same class. Therefore, one or two days absent or late to school will not result in graduation rights being taken away.

Email sent out by Student Culture Coordinator Henry Lonnemann regarding senior attendance.

Yesterday, on Monday, April 15th, Student Culture Coordinator Henry Lonnemann sent out an email to every senior explaining that if they have three or more unexcused absences from April 22nd onwards, they will not be able to walk at graduation. Students will still graduate, but they won’t walk to the podium during the ceremony. Many people are confused on what an unexcused absence is: for clarification, one unexcused absence is a student missing one period. Therefore, if a senior was to miss an entire day day of classes, they would have seven unexcused absences (including @d.tech). Any excused absences such as those given to students attending school sporting events or doctor’s appointments will not be affected by this policy.

Lonnemann explained that this new policy was “a way to end the last seven weeks making sure people are [at d.tech].” In the email, he also says that the senior class currently has an attendance rate of 92% and that it needs to be brought up to at least 96%.  

Many students believe that this is too harsh of a system. Senior Alex White stated, “It’s unfair to a lot of people who have lots of problems…people with FITs that they forgot to drop or things like that might result in them getting three unexcused absences.”

Some students are worried that teachers will incorrectly mark them absent and they will lose their chance to walk at graduation. “It’s a little unfair considering how our attendance system isn’t the most reliable anyways…Fridays, I’m not even on the attendance sheet,” said senior and member of the graduation committee, Jasmin Texidor. She also believes that the system is too harsh to work long term. She explained, “This harsh of a punishment isn’t going to work. In the end, there’s just going to be somewhere that we meet in the middle.”

Lonnemann hopes this system will actually help “hold teachers more accountable to actually take attendance.” He believes that this system will force teachers to pay more attention to attendance, so they don’t accidentally prevent a student from walking at graduation.

While many students are skeptical, this system is still in place and will begin next Monday. So if you’re a senior, make sure you get to school— if you miss only one day, you won’t be able to walk at graduation.

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