Senior Ditch Day Every Day



Classrooms are emptier these days because so many seniors are absent.

By Ani Tutunjyan, Executive Editor & Print Editor-in-Chief

Senioritis strikes again.

The school’s 2019 Senior Class has recently seen a significant drop in attendance, with the attendance for the month of March dropping 0.5 percent compared to the 2017 to 2018 year when attendance was at 95.6 percent.

51 percent of seniors last year were proficient in attendance; students were present 96 to 99 percent of the school year and had seven or less absences. That percent has now plummeted to 11.3 percent.

I feel like there are different theories that have been put out there,” A-G counselor Ms. Malissa said.” “One of them I heard is that a lot of students, for whatever reason, this year the senioritis is just really, really bad.”

Senior Sofiah Lawal has similar theories.

“I think senioritis hit harder this year because after the teacher’s strike, everything became chaotic which allowed seniors to lose interest in school more than usual,” Lawal said.

Lawal herself had 10 absences this school year, mainly due to her participation in the spring musical, “Bring It On.” This is a common issue that students face when participating in extracurriculars, such as sports or Performing Arts events.

However, there are students who face actual illnesses, which Lawal believes has had a major impact on student attendance. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), six to seven million people have been sick with the flu in the 2018 to 2019 season.

Senior Board President Jacky Duong believes she does her best to attend school everyday.

“I make sure I take preventative measures during school so I don’t fall ill,” Duong said. “It is definitely beneficial to attend school everyday because I don’t fall behind on coursework. I have more time to consult my teachers and I’m able to utilize the great resources available at the school.”

Attendance counselors advise all students to do the same.

Another possible theory is that students strive to take more challenging classes, specifically AP courses. But due to such a high workload, they may be finding it more difficult to attend school daily.

“They are becoming more burnt out and inconsistent with their attendance,” says Duong.

Through the counselors efforts, placing emphasis on the value of being in school everyday, the other grades have seen a rise in proficient attendance.

We saw improvement in each grade level, except for the seniors,” says A-G counselor Mr. Greg.

The A-G counselors and Ms. Shamsi are working to improve that percentage. The counselors collaborated with Mr. Strasner, who is in communication with Senior Board and ASB, and created a list of all the students who had 9 or more absences.

Lists were placed all over the walls of the school for students to find their name and meet with the A-G counselors or Ms. Shamsi to find a solution to these absences.

The counselors breakdown the absences and give students opportunities to clear them to not miss out on senior activities such as prom, grad nite and ultimately walking at the ceremony.

“We are sharing with them opportunities on how they can give back those hours and do things like campus beautification, going on educational field trips or participating in certain activities during lunch time,” says Ms. Malissa.

Letters are also being mailed to all seniors with a breakdown of their unexcused, excused and uncleared absences.

This gives students the opportunity to know where they stand with their absences and to be mindful for the next 10 weeks of school.

“It’s definitely providing a good space to have a conversation and looking at it on an individual basis and how we can help this specific situation,” said Ms. Malissa.