The New Attendance Policy: What is It?

Students walk through the main hall at Bingham.
Photo Credit: Lindsay Reynolds

Students walk through the main hall at Bingham. Photo Credit: Lindsay Reynolds

Ella Stringham , Proofreader

The new attendance policy is a subject vital to every student at Bingham. But what is this new policy, and why was it changed? 

Attendance is a vital part of school life to student, teacher, and parent alike, which makes it crucial for students to be aware of what the new attendance policy is. So what exactly are the new regulations? To start, a student must be aware of any absences or tardies. If the student accumulates three of either, or one truancy, for a particular class, a U will appear over that student’s grade. The U will then remain until the student is able to remedy it. Students with a U must meet up with their teacher for that period. Together the student and teacher will create a contract which will stipulate the student to improve habits and prioritize better attendance. The school will be mindful of any emergencies or events that may prevent the student from keeping proper attendance at a certain time. (A more detailed explanation of the policy can be found on the Bingham website.) Rest assured, the new attendance policy will bring aid to those who need it.

Students outside of Bingham. Photo Credit: Lindsay Reynolds

But why was the policy changed, and what exactly will this new change bring to the students of Bingham? Michelle Putnam, one of Bingham’s Assistant Principals, says: “We saw huge issues with student attendance, and therefore student success rates in classes, and so we wanted to put something back in place.” When students are unable to be accountable for their attendance, school becomes a serious struggle. “In order for students to be successful,” Putnam continues, “they will need to be in class and on time. By putting a policy in place, it gets probably 90% of students complying, so they don’t get behind, they don’t struggle, and then when they’re not behind, grades look better [and] mental health looks better, because it’s a nasty cycle when you start missing: it’s harder to go, and you just get that downward spiral and anxiety.” With an effective policy in place, students will be able to feel more confident and improve their overall academic standing.

How does the new policy differ from the old policy? Many of the changes implemented put a greater focus on the student, and make communication easier. But what was the problem with the previous policy? “When COVID happened, the attendance policy kind of went out the window. We didn’t do much because we didn’t want you guys here sick. We weren’t really tracking attendance.” says Putnam. “Creating a system that flags the teacher, the student, and the parent alerts us to an issue so there can be some conversations had, because I think that when we did away with the attendance policy we lost that.” The new policy’s main diversion is its personal focus on the student. Despite COVID taking away a lot of the academic resources available to students, the new attendance policy will break the mold and put a positive outlook on student focused education.

Although the new attendance policy will take some getting used to, its true intent is to assist the students of Bingham and improve education. “We’re really trying to keep [students] in mind,” says Putnam. “We want to see all of you be successful so you do well.” The policy is there to help you. If you see a U on your grade, talk to your teacher right away. By utilizing the new policy, you will be able to enhance your education.