Earning Privileges Through Attendance and Grades

Dear LZHS Students & Families,

Over the course of the past several months, LZHS administrators have been reviewing student attendance data - as research indicates that regular student attendance is correlated with increased academic and social-emotional performance. At the end of the first semester, 87% of our students overall were not experiencing attendance problems, while 13% of our students were identified as being either on track or above the threshold (18 or more absences) for chronic absenteeism rates.

As we work to improve attendance across our entire school, we reviewed our current practices related to attendance and school-related privileges. The results of this review indicated that these privileges were not linked to academic performance or attendance. We believe that by aligning privileges with real-life expectations (such as regular attendance to school or the workplace), we can better support our students' growth and success.

Your partnership in creating a positive atmosphere for learning is invaluable. Together, we can ensure every student has the opportunity to excel and succeed in all aspects of life beyond District 95. To this end, we will be implementing additional criteria for select privileges during the Spring 2024 semester for freshmen through junior classes - as a supportive measure to encourage regular student attendance. (Access to privileges will continue to be paired with existing disciplinary consequences for student misconduct.) It should be noted that, for the vast majority of students at LZHS, this will likely not result in any changes to their daily experiences. Please see below for a summary of how students can earn privileges associated with their class:

Class

Privilege

Criteria for Success & Access

Freshmen Assigned Office Hours location (if not meeting with a teacher)
  • No more than 1 full day unexcused absence* during two-week review period (90% attendance rate)  --AND/OR --

  • Passing all classes during two-week review period at the time of the data pull/review

Sophomores Assigned Study Hall location 
  • No more than 1 full day unexcused absence* during two-week review period (90% attendance rate)  --AND/OR --

  • Passing all classes during two-week review period at the time of the data pull/review

Juniors

Off-campus lunch privileges 

 

Off-campus blended class privileges (if applicable)**

  • No more than 1 full day unexcused absence* during two-week review period (90% attendance rate)  --AND/OR --

  • Passing all classes during two-week review period at the time of the data pull/review

*The term unexcused absence also includes parent/guardian calls (“parent unexcused absences”) that do not qualify as excused absences as outlined in the Parent-Student Handbook (see page 21)

**If students are enrolled in a blended class, they will be required to remain on campus during the temporary removal of their privileges related to academic and/or attendance performance 

Data will be reviewed on a regular basis (every two weeks), with privileges being either approved or temporarily removed until the next two-week review period. For example, if a student does not meet criteria for the first April review period - they will have privileges temporarily suspended for two weeks, but may have them reinstated for the following two weeks based on their academic and attendance-related performance.

Please note the additional information below:

  • For students with identified disabilities that have attendance and/or academic functioning areas of need, their Section 504 or IEP team will address how to support their attendance and/or academic needs so that they will have the same opportunity to access privileges as students without disabilities; any questions about this should be directed to Ms. Cara Obrochta (cara.obrochta@lz95.org), Assistant Principal for Student Services at LZHS

  • If students believe there is an error with respect to attendance (e.g., there was a period of attendance misrecorded) students will be able to contact the Deans’ Office for a review of their current attendance standing

  • If there is a question regarding a student’s grade at the time of the review, Division Heads will be available on Mondays in the cafeteria during lunch periods for a review of their current grade standing

Please also note some important dates following this communication:

  • Parents/guardians of students who are at/approaching the chronic absenteeism threshold (referenced above) will receive a separate communication, for their records, to complement previous calls/communications related to attendance 

  • The LZHS Administration will complete an initial data review on Friday, March 15, 2024

  • Students who would have been impacted by their academic and/or attendance data at that time will receive communication during the Week of March 18, 2024 - so that they will have ample time to make adjustments prior to the next review period (NOTE: there will be no temporary suspension of privileges at this time)

  • LZHS Administration will complete another data review on Monday, April 8, 2024 - and will communicate to any impacted students for the April 15th through April 26th window at that time 

We have noted through collaboration with our counterparts that several other schools in our area are shifting their practices to be more supportive of student behaviors (including attendance). As this will be a new process at LZHS, we recognize that there may be situations that we will need to review and adjustments that may need to be made. We appreciate your patience, flexibility, and constructive feedback as we work through this process together. We look forward to implementing this new process in support of all of our LZHS learners. 

Best,

John L. Walsh

Lake Zurich High School Principal