To Appeal or Not To Appeal?

By: Michelle Oziembala

As the school year has gone on, students have had to adjust to the new block schedule. For many other students, their entire high school experience has faced many changes in regards to Covid-19 restrictions, mask wearing, and schedule changes. It almost seems as though every year there’s a drastic new change in the way our life at school is structured. However, with the new schedule came altered rules regarding absences as well. Previously, students were allowed to have a maximum of twenty absences for the entire year before losing credit for the class. However, that number has dwindled down to ten. 

Students have the option of documenting these absences in order to excuse them, which would make it seem as though you couldn’t lose credit for the class since the absences have been excused, as said by Jaya Thomas (‘24) “I thought I wouldn’t lose credit because almost all of my absences had been documented.” However, on May 16th, 2023, a vast number of students began receiving an alarming email stating that they had lost credit for their classes. This email was a little unusual, considering that students had previously received a warning email before officially losing credit. “I was shocked when I got the email because my absences were documented, and I thought I would get a warning before losing credit.” says Molly Balestriere (‘24) when asked how she felt upon receiving the daunting email.

Many students deem this unpleasant surprise as unfair, especially students who have worked hard the entire year and earned good grades. A lot of students claim that if they have a good grade in the class, then having ten absences shouldn’t stop them from losing their hard earned credit.
This massive loss of credit is causing many students to express their outrage. The day the email was sent, it was all that students talked about. A petition was started by someone who kept themselves anonymous, but it was shared all over social media, and got about 1500 signatures (as of May 19, 2023). It’s titled, “Mass Grant an Absence Appeal for 2022-23 — Grace period” and has numerous comments from both parents and students expressing their frustration. A parent from Stamford High stated, “Seems unfair for a child to have to stay back due to absence. If the child is passing the class they should not have to fail because of this.” Will the district grant a mass appeal of absences this year? We’ll have to wait and see.