In previous years, Westhill has maintained a paper-based absence documentation policy, but with a more technology-based approach, students are now able to keep track of their absences.
The policy states that students are to upload an image of their written absence note on a Google Form that can be found in the “Students” tab under “Absence Documentation” on the Westhill website. Written documentation includes a doctor’s note, proof of a court summons or appointment, proof of an official college visit, or a parent or guardian note.
Along with the district’s desire for a paperless system, it was recognized that students had an issue with trying to deliver their written absence notes to the Dean of Students, Mr. Pereira. Therefore, not only will this system of documentation allow students to be more involved in the process, but it eliminates the need to track down Mr. Pereira between classes and lunch waves when there is often not much time to do so.
“It is definitely easier than it was last year. Now that I can do it myself, I do not have to worry so much about time-sensitivity or my parents worrying about whether or not my absences are being excused,” Bridget Sypniewski (’20) said.
The Westhill attendance policy was designed to keep students performing at their full academic potential, even in the event of an absence. In order to ensure that these expectations are being met, it is worth noting the school’s efforts to take advantage of the growing benefits of technology.
“Most have technology or access to it, therefore, it is much easier for students to document their absences on their own. It is not a new policy. [Documentation] is just now more convenient,” Mr. Pereira said.
Should students have any questions or concerns about absence documentation, they are advised to email Mr. Pereira directly or contact their guidance counselor. Further information can be found through a link indicated in the Google Form, or by going to the Westhill website, clicking the “Students” tab, and reading the information under the “Attendance Policy” tab.
Although implementations such as this one are few and far between, it shows that the school is moving in the right direction towards a better academic structure for faculty and students alike.