Northwest Horizons

New policies face criticism from students

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The 2017-2018 school year brought new policies that didn’t sit well with everyone. As of this year, there is no longer a ten-minute nutrition break, a change introduced last year. Furthermore, every quarter, students with more than five absences, excused or unexcused, will have to make up lost class time through detention or Saturday school. The new changes were based on the school improvement plan which has been in the works for a few years; however, it has left some students upset.

“Personally, I think the attendance policy doesn’t matter; when you have unexcused absences there could always be a death in the family or you [could] get sick, there’s things that could be out of your control,” sophomore Chad Harrell said. “If you have to be out, you have to be out.” Harrell is not the only one who disagrees, either. Many other students have been upset by this.

“There could be a serious reason for absence,” junior Hannah Gardella said. “It makes sense if it was a punishment for skipping, but for excused absences it’s a bit much.”

The biggest issue in the eyes of many is that, while there is a waiver policy, it requires a doctor’s note. This may help some students who are sick and out for an extended time, but some kids can’t afford to go to the doctor or won’t go unless they’re severely ill. This poses a problem.

The teachers, however, have a different opinion. Many believe that these new rules hold students accountable for missing class. “I one hundred percent agree with [the new policy],” science teacher Jessica Tidmore said. “It’s irritating that students can miss a ton of school without being held responsible. It may upset parents and students but it’s better in the long run.” Tidmore’s views are backed by a large chunk of the staff, as well.

Though the sides are pretty evenly split on the subject of attendance, there’s still the other problem– the ten-minute break. It was removed due to students being able to come and go unattended, and not being able to be supervised.

“I think it cuts out a little bit of student interaction, just because I used that time for personal reasons like bathroom or whatever but also I used it to do homework and to catch up with friends,” Harrell said. “There’s no time to stop and wind down because you have such a full schedule.”  It’s easy to see, too. This year there are long lines for the bathroom and many frazzled students running throughout the hallways. 

As of right now, the staff are not looking to change the policy again.

“Just in this past week we’ve seen attendance increase,” English teacher and chairperson of the summer committee which implemented the changes Alexander Wertz said. “I believe [the policies] will succeed in their goal.”


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3 Responses to “New policies face criticism from students”

  1. Angered Student. on October 10th, 2017 5:36 pm

    Northwest is an ok school. Northwest is by no means a great school. Respectfully, in my opinion this school is trying to institute policies that they think will make Northwest a great school. This is one of those policies. It’s very understandable for a student who has unexcused absenses, but what about the students who has a doctors appointment, gets sick, and has to attend an educational school related trip all in one quarter? This policy will do more harm then good, but what should we have expected from an ok school. Don’t get me wrong, there are many great teachers at this school but they are sadly in the minority. The policies at this school don’t make much sense. For example why did the school cut important AP social studies and AP science classes while deciding to leave useless “businesss” classes and even Microsoft? Unfortunately we will never know.

  2. adviser on October 25th, 2017 9:00 pm

    Unfortunately, CTE classes are federally funded while AP classes are not. The state budget is the one that is limiting our resources currently, so the NWHS administration had to make tough decisions last year based on the enrollment in those courses.

  3. Anonymous on February 22nd, 2018 6:36 pm

    Remember the day when the school didn’t allow people to go to first period for being late? What an idiotic decsision!

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New policies face criticism from students