South administration cracks down on Panther Plus attendance

Calvin Prenkert, Editor

This week, many South students were surprised to receive a notice informing them that they had earned a Saturday school detention.

Recipients were unaware that they had racked up so many absences until they received the slip that informed them that Panther Plus time, an extra study period formerly not connected to absences on Skyward, would now be counted as a truancy if not attended. Those who had been tardy or truant to the auditorium, the default option if a student does not sign up for Panther Plus, more than five times during the timeframe of Feb. 4 to March 20 were given these Saturday school notices.

This change within the attendance system was confusing for many students, as up until this point in the year no firm action had been taken against missed Panther Plus periods. Additionally, no announcement had been made regarding the change in procedure before it was implemented on Feb 4.

Assistant principal Joe Doyle explained that Saturday schools were assigned in order to keep track of where students are if they are neglecting to sign up for Panther Plus.

“We’ve got to a situation where kids were going to the auditorium as a default and not signing up: they’re still in the building and still doing everything right, we just couldn’t get them if we needed to,” Doyle said.

“The only letters that went out were for kids who were in the auditorium and not attending the auditorium,”  Doyle said. “For 90 percent of them, it was ‘I was going to this teacher or that teacher and I just didn’t sign up.’ It was just a preemptive reminder to sign up and go where you’re supposed to go.”

The notice detailed that for those who were in the school and had forgotten to sign up, they should  speak to Mrs. Mayo in the main office to relieve themselves of the Saturday School.

“If people can validate where they were, they’re in good shape,” Doyle said.