A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Littleton takes a stand on attendance

Starting second semester, the administration implemented a new attendance policy to keep students in class. We talked to our assistant principal and creator of the new policy, Christian Enzminger, to learn what the policy is. The new policy comes from a very simple principle: students need to be in class to learn. The changes will enable administration to intervene in an absent student’s situation much more quickly. An “intervention” is a conference between the administration, the student and the parents of that student. The criteria for this intervention has changed. In the past after a student missed 10 classes, they would have an intervention and often enter in school suspension. The new policy has moved the amount of truancy to three missed classes, and the punishment for those who miss class has changed as well.

Previously a student would be admitted to ISS (In School Suspension) during the periods they had missed, which operated three out of five days of the week. ISS now works on all five days of the week, as well as during period seven and eight, a new action which is meant to keep students from leaving the school early. ISS has been redefined to finish the implementation of the plan, where before students would sit in the class for a period pretending to do homework, now there are numerous activities. These include helping the janitors clean the school which allows for Principal Amy Oaks’ vision of a sparkling school with every chair filled to become a reality. According to Mr. Enzminger, teachers had complained about not being able to teach kids who weren’t in class. The new attendance policy will make it much easier to keep students in class and offer more immediate solutions for habitual truancy, a problem that seemed to plague Littleton High School last semester. This new policy seems to be a step in the right direction.