Thursday, March 05, 2009

Not Quite the Ides

First of all, does anyone have any idea as to why my blogroll is no longer in alphabetical order? It's really bugging me - I'm just that anal retentive.

My Claire is in her school's production of "Mulan"- very exciting, although I can't help but snicker, since the school's population is primarily white. Good for them, though.

I'm not usually one to bitch about the weather, but I'm going to anyway. I am so ready for spring I can almost taste it. Shouldn't be long now.

School days are flying by- here's a dilemma: what to do with kids who are chronically absent? Our school used to have a policy that stated if a student was absent from a class 10 times in a 9 week term, that student was put on failing status, but could repeal it if the teacher ok'd it. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances, blah, blah blah. BUT, after 20 absences (in a 9 week term- 45 days), the student would automatically fail the class. Well, a few years ago, the school board deemed that policy unfair and not in compliance with public school law.
So, now I have students who miss 6, 7, 12, times a term and still pass.
My other issue is kids who show up after missing most of the term. What am I supposed to do with them? Catch them up on 5 weeks of missing work while I teach the 26 other students our current lesson? I know it's terrible, but it's easier if they don't come at this point. How can I seriously bring them up to speed in Spanish? I'm sure the kids think that, too- they are already so far behind there's no hope of passing, so why bother showing up at all?
We need a better system- something else to offer them.


Blogger Mrs. Chili said...

I sometimes we ran school like a workplace - if I fail to show up for work more than I'm there, I get fired (or, at the very least, don't get rehired). If a kid fails to show up for X number of classes a term, the kid fails. Simple.

I'm with you on being sick of winter. I can still measure the snow outside my door with a yardstick, and my half of our tree team is still firmly and stubbornly dormant (not that I can blame her, poor thing, up to her hips in snow...)

3/05/2009 6:26 PM  
Blogger Professor J said...

I am with you on the attendance thing. It is spring in South Texas. By the time you get to spring, I'll be complaining about the heat.

3/06/2009 10:07 AM  
Blogger HappyChyck said...

Our rules, and I believe it's state law, is a failing grade after 10 absences unless students appeal it--to the administration. Takes it out of my hands. My alt ed kids miss a lot of school--usually half the reason they can't hack it a regular high school--and think they the world stops without them. "But, Miss! I was sick!" (So many of them are so chronically ill that I should be afraid for my own health. Insert eye roll here.) It's so weird that they think they should just be excused from the work. I just print off their progress reports, hand over the instructions and place the responsibility on them. Some can make it up, but some can't. Consequences. In a Spanish class, though? Maybe they need to hire a tutor.

3/07/2009 12:00 PM  
Blogger Adeline said...

it makes sense that if they want to run a school like a business, with merit pay for effective teachers, that chronically absent students would get "canned" i can get behind that...

s'okay, i flunk em anyway, but i agree, with as chronic a problem as it is, it seems logical that every school board would pass some logical rules about what is acceptable to back up teachers.

3/11/2009 10:50 PM  

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