“No Go” on new attendance policy

Julian Wan, Online Editor

29th November, 2022

This year, Arcata High School Administration implemented a new attendance policy with a “minutes” tracking system  as well as detention to ensure students stay in class and arrive on time.

Each tardy will mark 10 minutes on a student’s attendance record while an unexcused absence will mark 30 minutes. 

Recently, Arcata High’s Dean of Students, Jessie Burns, updated the attendance policy with a “GO LIST” posted in the FAB and a “NO GO list” posted in front of the attendance office. 

Students on the “NO GO list,” in other words students with 240+ minutes, will not be allowed to participate in extracurricular activities until they reduce their minutes through detention or Saturday school.

While scanning through the “NO GO list”, I found a student with an impressive attendance history. Zero tardies! If you think that’s impressive, this student also has a total of 138 unexcused absences, totalling up to 4,140 minutes!

Nathan Whitney, a junior at Arcata High explained some flaws in the minutes system. 

“I think the minutes system is ineffective and it only punishes students who actually care about school because if you were not in school, you have like infinite minutes, you don’t care about extracurriculars, you’re not gonna actually try to get your minutes down,” Whitney said.

“There’s a bulletin board out there with the list of names on the “GO list” and I’m not on the GO LIST even though I do not have over 120 minutes, it’s a scam!” he exclaimed.

“I should be on the GO LIST, I have like 30 minutes, it’s very mentally taxing to think that I’m not on the GO LIST because then I can’t participate in cross country, I can’t participate in dances, I can’t participate in clubs,” Whitney said. 

“I wish there were changes to the system so it doesn’t hurt the mental health of the students at Arcata High,” he continued.

Ron Perry, Arcata High Principal explained the reasoning behind enacting detention as a disciplinary action.

“It’s part of our RISE norms and responsibilities to be on time. Detention is a mechanism, if we’re talking about the carrot on a stick model, it’s a stick. If we start having better attendance, that means students are learning more and helps create a better environment for teachers,” Perry explained.

 Furthermore, Perry described how the minutes system helps teachers take attendance more efficiently while enforcing students to go to class on time. 

“The minutes appear to be getting students’ attention, and it’s not only there for the students, it’s there to help teachers take attendance because they only have to mark students absent or tardy,” Perry said.