FA’s are a thing?

An FA is an administrative failure due to too many unexcused absences, but Triton isn’t taking them seriously enough. 


Illnesses have struck and are affecting students’ ability to learn. Although people call out of school because they are sick, if they forget to do so, it gives them an unexcused absence. A student is allowed 5 unexcused absences per quarter. A student’s parent can excuse up to 4 absences, but from there on, they are marked unexcused without formal documentation. How do we know that some of the sick call outs aren’t just to play “hookie”?


“There are a lot of kids out sick chronically, and they are not necessarily sick. They could just take the day off to hang out with friends or go to the dentists but don’t come back to school,” Tritons High School nurse Nadine Marcheterre said.


Students stay home from school some days when it isn’t necessary. Triton High School should make a bigger effort to have kids come to school if they aren’t sick. Colleges tend to look at attendance of students when considering whether to accept them or not. People taking days off just to lay around isn’t showing schools how motivated you are to learn. 


When a student receives an FA, in aspen their current academic grade is automatically changed to a fifty.   The process of getting rid of an FA is relatively easy. Most parents call the nurse saying that all the unexcused absences are because of sickness and they just didn’t call their child out. They explain to our nurse why their child was out and with this information, Marcheterre talks to Elizabeth Pacheco or Joseph Celia and explains that it was medical and that their absences are now excused. The students FA just goes away. 

“Last March, I was absent for 6 days in total,” junior Sadie Clifford said. “It was in April that I was notified that I had FA’s because my parents hadn’t called the school to excuse me. I went straight to Mr.Celia that same day and he had asked me why I was absent for each of those days and then excused them for me. It seemed a simple process for something so impactful.” 

      Triton established an attendance detention policy. If you are exceeding your amount of unexcused absences, or have too many unexcused tardies, you will be contacted by Pacheco and she will say that you need to stay after school on a certain day for detention. Celia said, “For example, let’s say you had 8 unexcused absences in English class, you’re only allowed five, so you would have to make up three hours of instruction time.” This make up time plan is coordinated with the assistant principal of whatever grade that student is in.

“I think that the detention policy helps, I think the after school help that the teachers offer is going to help,” said Celia. During this detention students will make up all missed assignments. 

      Triton’s process for student absences hasn’t been following what the handbook says. The handbook states that if a student has 5 or more unexcused absences, then the student and their parent will be notified by the principal and a meeting will be set up. When asked, last year Clifford wasn’t required to meet with the principal. While this may have happened because COVID-19 was still in effect, it doesn’t seem that the policy has gone back to what it used to be. Celia had different opinions. When asked if Triton follows the process of excusing FA’s like it claims to in the student handbook, he said, “I think for the most part, the FA policy is very very successful.” Celia stated that he thinks everyone can do a better job at enforcing this process and, at the moment, he thinks the school is doing a good job at it.