New exemption policy to benefit students with high grades, low absences


photo or infographic by Emily Meachen

STARTING MONDAY. Absences and tardies will be tracked starting Monday for exam exemptions.

The new exemption policy will kick in on Monday. The administration has updated the rules to better suit students’ journeys in education. They have covered tardies, absences and grades, allowing students with higher grades to still have a chance to have a bit more leniency with their attendance. 

“We are trying to communicate to students that exemptions are a privilege,” Associate Principal Natalie Priwer said. “If a student has an A in a class, they are allowed to have two absences. If a student has a B, they are allowed one absence. If they have a C or failing, they do not have the privilege of exemptions.”

The new policy will give higher achieving students more of a reward, and hopefully encourage those who neglect their class work to pick it back up and reach new goals to get the exemption. Some students are excited and relieved by the change and are grateful for the attendance tolerance. 

“I think it’s more fair honestly,” sophomore Ava Foster said. “If you’re getting A’s, you obviously know that class well, so a couple absences wouldn’t matter to begin with. I think it’s more fair and more precise to a group of people’s grades. There will still be kids that aren’t gonna care.” 

The goal for admin is always to find ways for the kids who don’t have an interest in their school work, or struggle to keep up with their grades to have a better chance of reaching higher and reaping the benefits. There is concern with some students that the policy will not do much for the kids that struggle.

“First, I don’t really have to worry about finals for half of my classes, and I’m rarely absent, so it doesn’t really matter how many absences I have,” sophomore Trip Henniger said. “I think this policy benefits the kids that have done more work than the lazier kids, but they also have to put in more effort through their school work and things.” 

I just feel like DC kids should have the option to be exempt because we have a larger work load. I rarely miss, have good grades and most of the top percent of our class is DC students.

— Julian Pelayo

The policy with DC courses will, however, stay the same as last semester, being that students in those courses will not be able to qualify for exemptions. This does cause quite a bit of upset with those that take the courses and work very hard through the year to gain college credit. 

“I personally do not agree with the DC students not being a part of the exemption policy,” senior Julian Pelayo said. “I do not agree because we are excelling and going above and beyond to try and do better in school and prepare for the future. I’m not saying that students shouldn’t be able to be exempt. If you show up and get your work done, you should be exempt, but DC kids do have a larger workload than most students and are 100% not failing because you will be dropped if your grade is below 70. I just feel like DC kids should have the option to be exempt because we have a larger work load. I rarely miss, have good grades, and most of the top percent of our class is DC students.” 

Certain students also wonder if this is the right way to cover exemptions at all, feeling it puts even the accomplished students at a disadvantage. 

“To be honest, it’s the same as last semester,” junior Gracie Saucedo said. “I think we should have at least three absences. If you have three or more, you should be exempt.  Some people have really good grades and a good work ethic. I don’t feel like that’s fair on the administration’s part. I think it should be at least three or less and having an A or B.”

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Should DC and AP students be allowed exemptions?


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