Carlmont takes actions to improve attendance rates


Ethan Man

Sophomore Benjamin Lee scans his student ID in Chinese class with the new scanners that were installed for flex time. Carlmont has plans to expand the usage of scanners from just flex time attendance to regular attendance.

New California education laws have altered Carlmont’s attendance policies, making it harder for students to get excused absences. In addition to these new policies, Carlmont installed a new scanning system to better track attendance.

If a student has three or more unexcused absences, they are considered truants under the California Education System. Students who are considered truants can be subject to consequences such as revocation of some of their rights.

“Unexcused absences are absences that do not meet California Ed Code 48205,” said Leonor Zarco, the Carlmont attendance clerk.

Carlmont excuses absences due to medical appointments, illnesses, religious holidays, family emergencies, or events with mandated participation, such as jury duty. Additionally, absences can be excused due to college visits if the student fills out a form that gives them prior approval for their nonattendance.

However, this amended code excludes some common reasons for absence, including family vacations or DMV appointments.

While regular attendance is undeniably important, being absent a few times doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world for students.

“No one, including colleges, will ever see your attendance,” said Grant Stunenberg, the administrative vice-principal. “It’s really going to come down to whether or not the teacher is allowing you to make up work or not.”

In addition to new codes that are designed to increase attendance, Carlmont is using a new method of taking attendance during flex periods, where students scan their student IDs and mark their presence. With the scanners already in place, Carlmont is planning to implement this new system into their regular attendance.

“It could be a very accurate system for us to use,” Steunenberg said.

However, some students think the system may need a few improvements before using it for regular attendance, questioning the reliability of the system.

“A lot of the times, the scanners don’t scan, or they scan the floor instead,” said David Jacques, a sophomore. “The scanners could be useful, but I don’t think teachers should completely rely on them.”

As the Carlmont administrative team works to improve the system, they continue to emphasize the importance of showing up to school.

“You can’t refute the fact that if you are in class receiving instruction, you are going to do better than if you were to not be in class missing instruction,” Steunenberg said. “A student’s academic success is going to be directly related to a positive attendance record.”