NNHS reinforces previous absences policies for the 2022-23 school year


Photo by Hannah Castro

The 2022-23 school year has brought many new changes to Naperville North High School. Between the modification of old policies to fit the current school dynamic and implementing new ones, North administration says they are striving to create a better environment for students. According to NNHS Principal Posey, one of the most prominent policy enforcements this school year is the absence policy. 

Posey stated that the school administration was more lenient towards student absences during the COVID-19 pandemic due to many students becoming ill or being in quarantine for extended periods of time. However, Posey also emphasized that the amount of positive cases among students and staff have significantly decreased in comparison to other stages of the pandemic, and explains why the school has opted for stronger reinforcement of the policy this year. 

“We want to go back to our board policy and procedures because we know that students learn better whenever they are in the presence of teachers in person, when they’re able to get immediate feedback in real time, and where they’re able to collaborate with their peers on questions, projects, all of those things,” Posey said.

NNHS administration also indicates that regular school attendance supports the mental, social and emotional health of students. This stems from North’s abundance of resources available during the school day. Posey discusses some of the ways being in-person caters to students’ needs. 

“Whether it’s through activities, your lunch time socialization, the academic or emotional support you get from other places… We need you to be here in person to get all of the support and instruction you need the first time around,” Posey said.

Currently, North’s absence policy allows for a maximum of ten days of excused absences per semester. Once the ten-day cap has been met, students will not be allowed to complete the classwork they miss. Excused absences include, but are not limited to, illness, doctor/dentist appointments and observances of religious holidays. If a student becomes sick and all of their excused absences have been used, a doctor’s note may be necessary to avoid being classified as “truant.” Even if a parent or guardian calls, the absence will be marked “parent unexcused” if the ten-day cap has already been met and no doctor’s note is provided. 

The ten-day policy also extends to absences in individual periods of the school day. According to Posey, students are permitted to be called out by a parent or guardian for a cumulative ten times each class period per semester. 

In addition to the enforcement of the absence policy, Naperville North has also made an addition regarding off-campus privileges of students in blended classes. At the start of the school year, a sticker was placed on the student ID cards of each blended student. NNHS Dean of Students Jeffery Farson explains the process of blended stickers.

We use stickers on IDs so that if a student wants to leave the building during off time, he or she can drop off the ID at a designated exit, and we will know that we have a student off campus,”  Farson said.

As the year progresses, NNHS administration hopes that the enforcement of these policies will allow students to experience success in the classroom. 

“We know, historically, that [being in school] is when students are at their best and make progress at a high rate, which is what our goal is,” Posey said.

Grace Ainger contributed to this story.