I've been getting several phone calls a week from the new Ann Arbor Public Schools phone system. "You have an important message from the Ann Arbor Public Schools. To hear the message now, press one."
I guess I'm an important person. I've been getting a lot of important messages.
Upcoming meetings? √
Grades are coming home with other handouts? √
Missed classes? √
Tardy or Absent?
What the hell?
If my child has an unexcused absence--also known as cutting--I do want to know about it. If they are a couple of minutes late, well...maybe I should care, but quite honestly, sometimes it's for a good reason (changing out of gym clothes...in the book depository...) Also, some teachers mark attendance in the first minute of class, others wait a few minutes. So a student could be two minutes late, and in Class A they are marked tardy and in Class B they are not.
Anyway, the point of this all? If my child has cut a class, then I do want to know.
When I get a message that says "Your child has been tardy or absent from 5th hour" (and yes, I got three of those last week)--all it does is strike needless anxiety in my heart. Let's focus on the word "or." Tardy? It's not going to put me in crisis mode. Unexcused absence? That I do need to know. Now I need to have a "discussion" with said student. So--tardy or absent? That means I have to have the discussion, even though maybe I don't need to have the discussion.
Um, AAPS, in case you haven't noticed, teens and parents have enough issues to "discuss." Can you change the message? Call a tardy a tardy, and an absence an absence. Leave out the "or." Thanks.