By Nicky Brown ’19
This year, a total of 68 seniors are appealing for credit, which is 28 more than the 40 who appealed last year. These students have exceeded the maximum amount of absences allowed in a class and could lose class credit.
Depending on the type of class, a certain amount of absences is granted. For a full-year course, a student is allowed 20 absences, for a semester course, a student is allowed 10 absences and for a quarter course, only five absences are condoned.
According to the Staples High School website, “When a student has lost credit, the administrator responsible for the student’s attendance will review the record with the student and the parent. The student and the parent will receive a written copy of the appeals procedure.”
Both the student and parent need to go through the appeals board, consisting of three teachers and the administrator responsible for the student. The court will first hear the students case as to why they have missed class and then decide if the credit will be restored.
Students at the risk of losing credit were notified by their grade level assistants. “Mr. McCray pulled me out from one of my classes and told me I had to appeal due to loss of credit in two classes,” Valerie Romo ’18 said. “I had to fill out a sheet and explain why I think I should be granted credit […] then a couple of weeks after, the appeal meetings started.”
According to Romo, the process was “relatively easy.” However, for students like Julieanna Veneruso ’18, she found the process to be more daunting.
“It was a difficult process,” Veneruso said. “I had to get a form from Mr. D’Amico’s assistant and write an essay on why I missed so much class and why I was late to a lot of my classes. Then I had to have my mom write an essay about it, too.”
The fast-track appeal is another version of appeals that the administration permits. Students are put on the fast track when they have significant documentation to prove valid absences.
Of the 68 seniors on appeal this year, about half of them qualified for the fast track appeal.
Assistant Principal Richard Franzis noted that there are also students who are given extraordinary opportunities that the administration would not want them to lose. This could range from anything from race car driving to horseback riding.
If these students exceed their allowed absences, instead of being penalized, they are excused because of the extraordinary experiences. “The kids that tend to lose credit,” Franzis said, “are the kids that don’t have any medical documentation who probably have a large number of unexcused absences.”
Graphic by Imogen Barnes ’21