If you skip class, you may be sidelined

Administration hopes new policy improves attendences

Marta Hill and Isabel Kjaer

Starting this fall, missing class may affect more than academics for student athletes. 

According to athletic director Andrew Ewald, the Athletic Office will be tracking athletes’ attendence and hosting meetings with the administration and students.

“If we have kids that we’re sitting down with for that first time, we’re able to figure out what are the roadblocks with them, that are keeping them from getting to class on time or at all,” Ewald said. “And then we can work through those and that it doesn’t get to a second or third time.”

Student athlete freshman Katie Nelson said she thinks the new athletic attendance policy will motivate student athletes to prioritize school over athletics.

“It is especially good for all student athletes who are trying to balance so much like sports and school. If you aren’t in class you’re going to be falling behind, so it’s definitely a good thing they are going to be keeping track,” Nelson said. “It will encourage people to go to class, especially if they want to play their sport.”

According to Ewald, the Athletic Office will be working with the Student Office to track the attendance of athletes on a weekly basis because they see academics as more of a concern than athletics.

“Ultimately, (students are) here to go to school and going to class on time should be an easy thing to do,” Ewald said.

Ewald said he anticipates the attendance conversations will prevent any further unfortunate repercussions, such as missing competitions.

“My hope is that if we have to sit down and have those initial conversations with student athletes that it doesn’t go anywhere and we don’t get to the next step,” Ewald said. 

According to Nelson, monitoring attendance of athletes can help students balance many commitments, such as athletics and class.

“I hope it will have a positive impact, I think it will be a motivator,” Nelson said. “If you want to play and if you want to do well, then you have to still be involved in school and go to class and work hard.”

Ewald said the attendance policy is not a hard and fast rule, rather the administrative team will evaluate on a case-by-case basis.

“There’s lots of times where there’s reasons for absences, and I really didn’t want to have it be so black and white, that there was a set number with it,” Ewald said.  “It really is going to be myself and the assistant principals just looking at attendance.”