Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903

The Record

Athletic Attendance Policy Change

Sadie Schwartz, Staff Writer

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Good-bye to the days of student-athletes’ nonchalantly missing practice without being held accountable. Hello to the days of the new athletics attendance policy, where the Athletics Department has enacted a new set of policies and consequences meant to ensure that student-athletes attend practice everyday. The new athletics attendance policy is effective on the first day of classes.

Previously, every coach had their own attendance policy, with no consistent set of regulations across the department.

“We found that during the Winter season, there were a lot of athletes who missed practice all the time, and since athletic teams fulfill the physical education requirement, we felt that there must be some consistency. Athletes should not be allowed to miss practice without some form of study hall, since that’s what students receive if they cut gym class,” Associate Athletic Director Ray Barile said.

With the new attendance policy, student-athletes will spend two periods in study hall after one unexcused absence and a week in study hall after two unexcused absences. The consequences become increasingly severe as the student-athlete misses more practices. After five unexcused absences, the athlete will be removed from their team.

“We want to bring procedures to the same level as other academic and gym classes,” Director of Athletics Robert Annunziata said. “It’s now a credit-bearing activity; it was a logical thing to start reporting attendance into APWeb, so we could account for our athletes’ attendance in the same way we account for them during the school day.”

Students had mixed responses to the new attendance policy.

“If someone has a legitimate reason but forgets to tell the coaches why they can’t come to practice, it can cause an unnecessary study hall that could potentially ruin someone’s day because they’re missing frees and wouldn’t be able to meet with teachers and do what they would normally do during frees,” Allen Park (11) said.

Eva Fortunato (11), who competitively horseback rides outside of school, had concerns about the new policy. ‘I’ve worked out schedules with the coaches to make both sports work in and out of school so it’s going to be a really big issue for me to miss one practice a week and get penalized for it. I want to still be on the school teams but I’m not sure how it’s going to work since you’re not allowed to do both,” she said.

Conversely, Alexa Watson (11) thinks the new attendance policy will be good for the team, especially varsity players, and it will make sure that everyone is at practice so the team has a better practice, she said.

“I think it might help team dynamics because it will root out a couple kids who don’t really care about the team. They will either quit or start showing up, and that will help make the whole team better,” Ben Parker (12) said.

The coaches know that it will take some time for athletes to adjust to the new attendance policy, but, the primary goal is to make sure that athletes attend practice for all kinds of reasons. The level of conditioning and team chemistry suffers when all the athletes are not at every practice, Annunziata said.

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Horace Mann's Weekly Newspaper Since 1903
Athletic Attendance Policy Change