High School Attendance



Cheyenne Singleton, Publicist

School, the place all teenagers say “we don’t need” and the same place that prepares us for the next chapter of our lives. It’s the place we graduate from and the point at which we move onto our college chapter in our lives. While school is winding down, we can’t help but still deal with high school problems because they are still relevant to us. We love our Santiago Shark life, however, have you ever come to school for a month straight and then miss one day and that’s the day one of your teachers decides to present the class with a pop quiz, two group assignments, distributes the review for our next test, and offers extra credit? Of course, we’ve all experienced this feeling. Even though this may be an exaggeration of a realistic circumstance, this is truly how it feels when you miss one day of school due to personal reasons such as physical or mental health. Yes, I said mental health parents, fellow sharks, and Santiago staff, because there is such a thing called mental health and it is important. People have various stress issues stemming from their home life, extracurriculars, jobs, and other personal internal conflicts as well. I feel as though sometimes we forget that we’re not fully grown and even when we are there will always be hard days where we must slow down, take deep breaths, and pick ourselves up when we feel ugly or unloved or hated or unlovable or embarrassed or self-conscious due to our weight, height, or skin color. So, taking some time off is okay, and it’s necessary every once in a while. Having perfect attendance is nice but not if it is detrimental to one’s health.

Now, I’m not saying skip school so you can play video games instead of taking your AP Statistics test, but I am saying breaks are well-deserved and if you have the room academically to take some time for yourself and do some self-care, then that shouldn’t be looked down upon. Unfortunately, this is looked down upon because when we come back from one day of rest, we come back drowning in a plethora of assignments from all 6 of our classes. The work takes weeks to make up, and often times, when we return, the teacher is absent, which pushes you even further behind. This discourages students and causes them to associate self-care with more stress and consider it a terrible mistake when in reality it was much needed and overdue to recharge their energy, stability, and sanity.

Weekends! Some people may say we have weekends, which yes we do, that is very true. We have two out of seven days to complete a multitude of assignments assigned for each class we have. Along with time to feed, clean, and walk your dog, or time to help your family clean the house, so it doesn’t look chaotic. What about going to church with your family on Sunday morning and do your traditional breakfast at IHOP afterward? You can’t forget to watch a movie or two with your siblings because everyone is so busy during the week that you never have time to bond anymore. Don’t forget to wash your clothes so you have clean clothes to wear for the following week. What about your friends, your boyfriend/girlfriend? You never get to see each other anymore because your head is always in the books during the week. At last, those who work weekends have even less time, but they have to work because they still need money to get lunch at school every day. Fellow students, parents, and Santiago faculty – self-care days are okay, sometimes the weight on our shoulders just gets a little too heavy. We should be encouraged to hold steady grades along with steady mental and physical health. Santiago staff, you can help us achieve this by perhaps not stressing stressed students when they come back to a 1,000 assignments and having to come in during office hours the whole month to make up 5 participation points. Instead, let’s have all the assignments on canvas. Students will not only know what was executed in class the day they missed but they will have access to print their homework and be caught up coming to the next class. The teachers can also be encouraged to discuss the agenda for the week on Monday and present the homework to the students so they have everything they’ll need for the week in case an unavoidable day of absence were to arise. If the agenda changed, then the alterations can be communicated through remind, the handy-dandy app that allows teachers to inform you to sign up for the AP test or remind you of the date of an upcoming test. This way, no one is ever left in the dark and students won’t drown in even more when trying to catch up. This makes absences not so detrimental to the success of our fellow Sharks!

Tardies! Why is it that staff tells us “absences are better than being tardy?” They aren’t. What if I missed first period because I got food poisoning after school yesterday and my first period is an elective class that I’m all caught up in but came for my second period AP Psychology class because we had a test. In this case, my grades didn’t suffer from this absence, however, my attendance says I was absent for 5 out of my 6 classes for that day. Oh well! We need to stop teaching attendance means more than academic excellence or that the two concepts even weigh the same.

From personal experience, I am a 12th-grade student here at the amazing Santiago High School! I am also a part-time employee who works every day including Saturdays. I wake up at 6:00 am to get to school by 7:45 am and when school ends, I go straight to work to make it there by 3:00 pm and stay until 8:00 pm. Then, from 8:00 pm and on I make time to eat dinner, shower, do my homework for four AP courses, my business law class, and write a couple of articles for journalism and I repeat this cycle every week. I know what it’s like to miss a day or two of school and keep them for myself. However I still managed to maintain a GPA above a 4.0 and have never felt better! It is possible and I’m living breathing proof!

All in all, senior’s time is winding down and I know the stress of where you’ll be spending the next four years of your life is weighing heavy on you right now, in addition to maintaining your academic excellence. Invest in self-care. We have the best staff, and they truly do care about you! Be communicative, they’ll understand! Enjoy your last two months here at Santiago! A few words of wisdom for our incoming seniors, continue the great legacy we’re working hard to leave for you! Underclassman stay positive and keep pushing through! It is all worth it in the end! Thank you Santiago Staff for making these past four years an experience to remember!

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