Last-minute attendance changes leave many students scrambling


In-person learners work on projects in Donald Davis’ class.

Charlotte O'Dell, Legacy editor

At the end of April Hays High school sent an email to parents explaining the new attendance changes, meaning we now have to attend all Zoom classes during the day, instead of being counted present for simply doing the daily classwork.

For me, this was an extremely frustrating change at the very end of the school year. Along with many other students, this change effected our jobs and livelihood. I myself have a job where I was available to work at all times of the day because I would always be able to finish my school work before or after my shift. Since the school decided to tell us two days in advance instead of maybe a week, I’ve now had to change my entire work schedule and frustrating my management and co-workers. Due to Zooms being mandatory, I have let my staff down and created a gap in our schedule. We are already understaffed at my job, so this news was not taken lightly.

While attending zooms, most of the classwork is self-explanatory and really needs no class time to be taught. I would be able to get my school work done in two hours and be able to relax before work. I have many shifts that start at 4:30 so if class runs late, I will be late for my job. We have struggled this entire year, especially seniors, to time manage and adapt to the pandemic, but Hays High School has not made that exceptionally easy. Not only will other students and myself be affected, but our jobs will suffer tremendously by having to change and reschedule several other employees’ schedules and hours. I have been working almost five days a week,  over eight hours a day to ensure I can pay for college and be able to pay bills, but now this will be extremely limited due to the un-professionalism and disorganization of the district. Most students affected by this change all have jobs.

All in-person coded students and virtual must not miss more than three days between April 26th and May 24th in order to be eligible for incentives such as exam exemption.

The change comes with the District policy that at least 68.4% of students be in-person for at least eight days each during the last six weeks of school. Meeting that goal means the district would receive $7 million in funding.

However, students argue that the last-minute change is not fair.

“It’s very unfair the school had to throw this situation on us only weeks before graduation. We’ve had a difficult year already and we don’t need more stress.” – Vanessa Jimenez, 12th

“I think the school let us know about it too last minute, and the school district doesn’t realize that since COVID changed the school system, students started time managing school and work differently.” – Catherine Danford, 12th

“This was way too short notice and puts way too much extra pressure on asynchronous students.” – Emma Pettiette, 11th

“I don’t think it’s fair, everyone looks forward to senior year to exempt and now everyone most likely can’t with the change.” – Cambria Henry, 12

“The new attendance rules have stressed me out personally and made it more difficult for me to go to work and join zooms at the same time.” – Hailey Jones, 12th