CO Confusion Clarified

Jacob Joy, Staff Writer

The new school year came with a lot of changes such as many new rules and policies. One that stood out to students was the CO policy, a policy regarding attendance. This confused students, mainly freshmen and sophomores, so the Hatter’s Herald followed up with Principal Donvan to clear up any confusion. 

Overall the Co policy was reinstated to “ show an improvement in student attendance. CO is not new, it was put on hiatus because of COVID” according to Mr. Donovan. During the 2020-2021 school year, there was still the option for school online but over the last school year, 2021-2022, the absentee rate increased severely to 24% which is 10% more than the average. 

The CO policy states that if you have more than 5 absences per semester your grade will be brought down to a 65 and you will receive a credit only on your transcript. Now if you are seriously ill or injured in any way, you can appeal your attendance to the nurse’s office if you have already provided them with a doctor’s note. If you do not have a doctor’s note it will still count as a day off of your 5-day limit. If you did provide a note and informed the level offices and still get your grade lowered, you must inform your level administrator and provide them the details for them to change your grade. Not only was the CO policy created to better attendance, but it was also created for the students that think they don’t need to come to school causing them to miss vital information that they are supposed to learn. Mr. Donovan once again stated how “There will be a learning curve, and students who care about their transcript will work hard to not get a CO.”  

Meanwhile, sophomores and freshmen have all got their own opinions on the matter. Some don’t care about the policy and others think it will affect them greatly. For instance, one sophomore, Christopher Cooney, believes that “the kids who don’t come to school and don’t care about it deserve that, I think they deserve to get CO’d because they lack ambition…” For the most part, Mr. Cooney makes strong points. Those who miss school for unnecessary purposes would receive consequences but what about those who have a valid reason?  Jack Weaver, another sophomore, believes that missing school when it is caused by familial issues is justified and that “I feel like if I miss five days for a certain class because of family issues and I’m stuck at 65 I would probably stop trying.” This seemed to be the main confusion around the CO policy, however, Mr. Donovan clarified that an absence is excused from CO when it is related to school-related activity and/or family reasons. Family problems do not count as a trip to Disney, according to Mr. Donavan. One freshman, who wants to remain unknown, calls the CO-policy fair but that administration should “ add more days, like 10.”  In conclusion, students are still somewhat confused about the actual purpose of this policy but overall it’s very simple to understand.