October 22, 2013
Student Services/ Prevention and Wellness team
Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
125 South Webster Street
P.O. Box 7841
Madison, WI 53707-7841
To Whom It May Concern,
I am a senior at Arrowhead High School and have been living in Wisconsin for three years. I love being apart of the Wisconsin environment and Arrowhead, but not for the reasons you may think. Arrowhead and Wisconsin have provided me with many opportunities. For example, being apart of the Youth Apprenticeship program and taking classes like Medical Terminology have given me a chance to explore the medical field and get a head start in my career. However, not being allowed to miss more than ten days a school year has been challenging.
My father lives in Washington, DC, which is where I moved from when I came to Wisconsin three years ago. Due to custody agreements, I am required to visit him once a month. This means I miss at least one day of school a month. This is challenging because I strongly dislike missing school. But it’s something I don’t have control over until I am eighteen. By the end of the year, I miss eight days of school to go see my dad. Even when I bring in a note to school in advance, the days still count towards my ten days allowed a year. This leaves no room for sick days or family emergencies. Regardless of how sick I am or if I have a doctor’s note, my absences are not excused from the ten days.
Last year, I had a loved one pass away. On top of the stress of coping with her death, I worried about my school absences. I missed four days of school to fly to Washington, DC and go to the funeral and to be with family. I used up almost half of my days for one event.
I understand you are trying to help all individuals succeed. But by only allowing students ten days of absences students experience difficulty and stress. I hope you can consider adding more days to the limit and take consideration into the chart I have attached. The chart explains what events I believe should be excluded from the limit. Thank you so much for your time and for helping students all over Wisconsin.
Days that should count as a day of absence:
Being sick, with approved note
Missing school without the parent/guardian approval
Sports events, regardless if it is for school or outside of school team
Days that should not count as a day of absence:
Trips/vacations that the attendance office is aware of in advance.
Doctors appointments, when only one or a couple of classes are missed
Missing part of the day, and not the whole day