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Middle & High School Class Attendance Expectations

The Appleton Area School District is engaging with the Appleton Police Department to enhance support for a small number of middle and high school students who are at school but struggle with consistent class attendance and behavioral expectations. We are addressing students who are making poor choices regarding attending classes. Missing valuable learning time for the small number of middle and high school students who are making poor choices regarding attending classes is an issue, but so are the behaviors that these students engage in while not in class.  

We are committed to the success of all students and actively engage with students and families to overcome challenges related to attending all scheduled classes. Our collaborative effort aims to guide these students toward making positive decisions about their education. We have reiterated the importance of regular class attendance through discussions during homeroom/flex periods and personalized dialogues with students who demonstrate irregular attendance patterns. These conversations occur within the framework of Student Support Team meetings, where we explore strategies to ensure consistent class attendance and participation.

The safety and well-being of our students are paramount, especially when they are within school premises but not in their scheduled classes. Failure to adhere to staff instructions or to remain in assigned areas could result in disciplinary measures, including detention, in-school suspension (ISS), out-of-school suspension (OSS), or even a hold open ticket for trespassing issued by the Appleton Police Department. While this is new in the AASD, other Wisconsin districts have been using this as a tool for many years.

The use of hold-open tickets serves as a restorative tool, reserved as a final measure to uphold safety and encourage classroom attendance. This approach reflects our dedication to supporting students' educational paths and ensuring a safe, conducive learning atmosphere for all.

This is in response to repeated behavior such as

  • Disrupting other classes
  • Wandering the hallways
  • Spending time in unsupervised areas such as bathrooms and locker rooms
  • Inappropriate use of their phone
  • Smoking/vaping

Example of the multi-step intervention process before receiving a hold-open ticket

  • Staff will guide and redirect students without a pass back to their class, informing the office of any deviations.
  • Persistent class attendance issues will result in inclusion on a no-pass list and monitoring by the School’s Attendance Team for additional interventions.
  • Progressive disciplinary measures, in partnership with the Appleton Police Department, may include detention, suspensions, or a hold-open ticket for trespassing for non-compliance, emphasizing our commitment to safety and a productive learning environment. 

A ticket will be a very last resort -- after we have tried every other means to help a student make choices that will lead to positive outcomes for themselves and their classmates.    

We encourage families to promote consistent attendance, enabling students to maximize their educational outcomes. We believe in the critical role of daily class attendance in fostering a rewarding educational journey, significantly impacting a student's academic and personal growth.
 
Class attendance expectations

  • Arrive at school and all classes on time.
  • Timely class entry means being physically inside the classroom.
  • Students must possess a hall pass if they need to leave class temporarily, ensuring they return promptly. Unauthorized departures from class are marked as "Out of Compliance" (OC) and can lead to restrictions such as being placed on a no-pass list.
  • Refer to the Parent-Student Policy Manuals & Handbooks for detailed information.

Regular class attendance has several key benefits

  • Direct Teacher Access: Classroom presence allows for immediate interaction with educators for explanations and insights not always available through textbooks or digital resources.
  • Interactive Learning: Engaging in classroom discussions, asking questions, and participating in group projects enhances comprehension and retention.
  • Structured Learning Environment: Classrooms offer a disciplined setting that promotes focus and academic rigor.
  • Social Skills Development: Interacting with peers in class supports the development of vital communication and teamwork abilities.
    Immediate Feedback: In-person learning enables quick feedback, helping students identify improvement areas and clarify doubts.
  • Discipline and Responsibility: Regular attendance cultivates time management skills and academic dedication.
  • Relationship Building: Classroom interactions foster meaningful connections with teachers and peers, valuable for support and future networking.
  • Hands-On Learning: Certain subjects require practical activities best experienced within the classroom setting.
  • Study Habits: Consistent attendance encourages the establishment of effective study routines.
  • Policy Compliance and Grading: Adhering to attendance policies can influence overall academic performance.

The negative choices exhibited by students often lead to more significant behaviors and thus consequences we are working to mitigate. We are trying to help teenagers make better choices. In addition to supporting the students making poor choices, we are also trying to provide a safe, welcoming, and educationally focused environment for all students.