To the editor:
Absenteeism at the Veterans School is not isolated. Having taught at Marblehead High School, I have observed the same problem. There is a viable and easy solution: Schools should adopt a policy that if students miss more than 17 days in a school year, they receive an NG (no grade) and must repeat the year.
Every parent/guardian should be required to sign off on this at the beginning of the school year. There should be no exceptions to the rule. Experience tells me that schools often make policies and then spend more time coming up with exceptions to the policy than they spent on creating the policy.
Parents should not be told, “We would greatly appreciate your assistance …” They should be made aware of the school’s absentee policy and its potential consequences. An absentee policy that is fair and consistent will greatly reduce absences. If schools choose not to adopt a “no exception absentee policy,” absenteeism will continue to be a problem and will probably get worse.
Students will eventually be in the workforce; how many bosses will tolerate excessive absenteeism?