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  • 1.  Absences and Alternate Work?

    Posted 10 days ago
    Hello colleagues!

    Looking for policies and/or procedures to deal with absences in my theatre classes. At our school, we run into the issue of students being taken out of school for a wide variety of reasons including family trips, club sports tournaments and recurring appointments. Things have come to a head recently with the absences really impacting projects and I'm looking to revamp my policy for the new semester. Thanks, in advance for advice, ideas or policies shared.

    Suzanne Maguire
    Associate Director,
    Lewis & Clark Tiger Drama
    WA State Thespian Board
    Spokane, WA

  • 2.  RE: Absences and Alternate Work?

    Posted 8 days ago

    This is a huge issue in our school, too. I didn't love the change to having online assignments available required when we first returned in fall 2020 (we went back fully in person), but I have kept some of those policies in place just to keep from losing my mind teaching a performance-based class when students miss class for so many reasons. 

    For every performance/presentation, I add a way it has to be submitted/shared via video to me on the same day. Example: I have two wrestlers out two  days last week. We had a monologue performance, and they both knew that I needed the video submitted by the end of that school day if they wanted full credit. I give my assignments way in advance for that reason. And rarely does the "extenuating circumstances" issue arise. It DOES require them to pay attention to planning (life skill) and communicate with parental units (appointments). Day late=10% penalty up to three days then no credit (standard at our school).

    I also have a Google Form with some simple theatre response options so they get participation credit regardless of the reason for being out. It is always available in Schoology for them to access. 

    I was probably the loudest opposition at our school about having to create online options for assignments ("I can't teach theatre ONLINE!"…but I did. We had some hybrid weeks that fall where we had half our class every other day, and I would Google Meet with the ones at home simultaneously 😩). Now just adding that video requirement if absent keeps me from having to deal with individuals when absences arise-they all know. Plus it keeps us on track because I don't do makeup performances or presentations that would take up class time. 

    It's not the only way to do but it works for me. Feel free to contact me if you want to discuss/vent more. 

    Veronica Stephenson
    Enterprise High School