New unexcused absence policy for DGS


Tatum Mitchell

Attendance secretary Naybeth Moreno operating the phone in the attendance office.

Beginning second semester, students who receive an unexcused absence will have an automated message left for their parent/guardian over the phone, as well as an email sent out.

“Students, who are unexcused … from class, their parents [or guardian] will receive a phone call to let them know the periods for which the student has been marked absent … The phone calls will go out twice daily … at 11:30 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m.,” Associate Principal Dr. Karen Taylor said.

Senior Samantha Selakovich commented on the potential impacts the phone calls may have on senior attendance rates.

“I think it’s going to strike a lot of fear into the seniors’ hearts, so they are not going to ditch as often … a lot of kids will start showing up to classes more, in general, because a lot of kids are scared of their parents,” Selakovich said.

Taylor explained one of the causes of the change in attendance notifications.

“In the past with just the emails … parents would notify us that they were surprised about their student’s attendance pattern. They would tell us either ‘I don’t check that email address … anymore or very often’ or ‘I changed my settings so I no longer get emails from the school’ … [parents] were not aware of their students’ attendance patterns,” Taylor said.

Lorie Barber, a parent of a DGS student, explained her preferred method of being informed of her child’s attendance.

“I’d rather be contacted by email because I have a job during which I am not available [by] my phone during school hours. Email gets to me, and I can reply as needed. I’d also like the documentation to show my child,” Barber said.

Junior Olivia Yesker spoke about the effects the phone call notifications will have on her attendance.

“[I]f I want to not go to a class, a phone call to my parents isn’t going to stop me … it won’t change [my attendance] at all … when I miss school, I am excused but if I were to be unexcused, my parents are going to find out anyway because of the emails, and it’s on HomeAccess center, so it won’t change much,” Yesker said.

Taylor said one of the goals of phone call notifications is to contact parents in a timely manner. Sophomore Sophia Girik explained the effectiveness of calling parents/guardians.

“I think it could definitely impact sophomores’ attendance since a call is a more direct contact to students’ parents … Though phone calls are bound to get more attention and answers than an email, emails are a good way to keep track of things,” Girik said.

Taylor also mentioned that the phone call notifications of attendance will expectedly promote student attendance.

“We’re very hopeful it should increase student attendance rates,” Taylor said.


Read more about the transition: (Click Here)