Revised attendance policy helps to clarify confusion


A Becton student reviews the updated attendance policy, which can be found online in the Becton Student/Parent Handbook.

Becton’s updated attendance policy, which is being introduced starting the 2017-2018 school year, is focusing on decreasing student absences and tardies.

“The goal of revising the policy was to increase accountability for students when it comes to managing their own attendance and also realizing the importance of being present in school every day,” said Principal Dr. Sforza. “Also, there has been a lot of confusion in regards to the previous policy, and the revised policy now clarifies a lot of this confusion we once had,” he added.

Dr. Sforza noted that Becton allows seventeen (17) absences per school year, which is the maximum amount allowed in the district.

With the new changes made by an attendance committee comprised of the Becton administration as well as several staff members this past spring, only three reasons for being absent will be officially excused, which are a religious holiday, Bring Your Child to Work Day and a student’s suspension from school. A doctor’s appointment will count towards the seventeen 17 allowable days for a full year course. It is no longer considered an excused absence that does not count towards the allowable days due to the fact that students may exceed days absent without consequence; however, if one becomes ill, he or she may bring in a letter from a doctor to be able to make up work that he or she has missed during that time period. 

You can’t learn if you are not here.

— Mrs. Melchionne

Moreover, another major change relates to first period tardies and absences. Becton’s attendance officer, Mrs. Melchionne, made it very clear that missing first period will no longer be tolerated. She strongly stated, “You get one warning per semester; after that, it is a central detention.” This rule goes hand in hand with Becton´s strict no cutting policy. If a student is more than fifteen minutes late to a class, it will be marked as an absence.

All in all, Mrs. Melchionne mentioned that student attendance has been an issue in the past years and that the average amount of excused and unexcused days missed per pupil is nine.

She then noted that the new policy “makes it fair for everyone”. “You can’t learn if you are not here,” she said.