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The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

The Student News Site of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

Eagle Eye News

Chelsea Townsend
Tracking Tardies. Senior Lukas Avila signs-in late in student affairs office during first period. Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School administration is tracking attendence; students who have more tham 10 absences, sign-outs/ins or tardies will no longer be able to obtain senior parking or senior privilege, also known as off-campus study hall.

MSD’s new 10-10-10 rule aims to improve student attendance

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has enacted a new attendance policy dubbed the “10-10-10 rule.” According to the new mandate, each year of their attendance at MSD, students are allotted 10 absences, 10 sign-ins and 10 sign-outs. If anyone exceeds the number in any of the three categories, they will not qualify for senior parking or senior privilege, which allows seniors to have off-campus study hall. The count resets each year, and breaking the rule in any year will have the same effect.

The policy was announced on Aug. 16, the week before school started, in a newsletter to MSD parents. Both unexcused absences and excused absences, including sick days, will count towards students’ 10 days. Whether extended absences due to special circumstances like hospitalization or surgeries will count for a specific student will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

“10-10-10 was created out of a need to establish a policy concerning student attendance, sign-ins and sign-outs,” assistant principal Sandra Davis said. “Especially when it relates to privileges that you get as seniors [senior parking and privilege]. It is also a safety issue for us, because kids are coming on and off campus and security has to be available to open gates for senior parking or the red gates, and we can clearly see an abuse of the sign out policy last year.”

The rule’s creation is a direct result of an excessive amount of sign-ins and sign-outs by MSD students that in the past has created a long line and a chaotic environment in Student Services. Additionally, many MSD students had over 20 days of absences.

Administration felt this was an issue and created the 10-10-10 rule in response, which was also embraced by teachers who voted to adopt the rule as part of the MSD progressive discipline plan.

“10-10-10 has absolutely had an impact on the total number of days students are coming to school in addition to the sign-outs on a daily basis,” Davis said. “The overall goal is to keep kids in class so they get a quality education.”

While administration feels they have found a solution for students’ excessive absences, sign-ins and sign-outs, these new rules have been a cause for concern for some students at MSD.

“It takes away something students don’t even have yet for the purpose of limiting the amount of class they miss,” freshman Jake Stein said. “This 10-10-10 rule just makes students and parents nervous about missing class, more than they already would have been, for no good reason.”

Initially, this rule was brought up by concerned parents at the year’s first School Advisory Committee meeting. Multiple parents posted their concerns and complaints on Facebook regarding the rule. Commenters’ reactions to the rule were mixed.

Many who support the rule, including teachers, believe it can help better prepare students for the future.

“As someone who has dealt with issues surrounding attendance and tardies at two different schools, I think the 10-10-10 rule is a great incentive to keep kids motivated for more than just their education,” AP Human Geography teacher Lauren Saccomanno said. “This motivates students, especially those who want a parking decal or senior privilege their senior year, to continue showing up and coming on time. I think it is a much more realistic view of how students will be expected to behave in the real world after high school.”

Administration’s goal is to hold students accountable and promote better attendance. However, the effectiveness of the new policy cannot be determined until the year’s attendance data is collected and analyzed.

This story was originally published in the October 2023 Eagle Eye print edition.

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About the Contributors
Alison LaTorre, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Alison LaTorre is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. This year, she is one of the Associate Editors-in-Chief. She enjoys reading, going to the beach and listening to music.
Brynn Schwartz, Associate Editor-in-Chief
Brynn Schwartz is a junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the Associate Editor-in-Chief for news, sports and politics. She is the Newspaper Representative for Quill and Scroll and a member of National Honor Society. She enjoys discussing politics, listening to music and hanging out with her friends.
Chelsea Townsend, Photo Editor
Chelsea Townsend is a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. She is a member of the TV Club; enjoying anything to do with cameras as well as playing chess.
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