Last year, students in Bonneville Joint School District 93 had no school on Mondays besides online material and catching up. This year, attendance is mandatory unless students are excused. There are several reasons for this change.
In 2020, intervention Mondays were adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow time for staff collaboration. This year, COVID did not impact the changes made. Bonneville High School Principal Levi Owen said, “Our Monday schedule is not vastly different from the early release Wednesday schedule—other than the reduced expectation for [attendance].” Before the pandemic, school was released a few hours earlier on Wednesdays, allowing time for teachers to collaborate. Because of the switch to intervention Mondays, teachers now use Monday afternoons for collaboration and lesson preparation.
In high school, clubs and teams require money for uniforms, transportation, coaches, and more. The district relies on the state for 80% of this funding; in the past, funding has been dependent on the number of students attending. Due to COVID and increased online learning, funding policies changed; funding was based on the number of students enrolled, regardless of attendance numbers. This year, it reverted to pre-COVID policies, causing the district to change attendance expectations so they could receive sufficient funding. District 93 Superintendent Scott Woolstenhulme said, “We have to have kids here unless we're excusing them because if we don't, we're not being truthful on how we report attendance to the state.” If students are not present on Mondays, the district loses partial funding.
Since Monday attendance was not required last year, many students with missing work or lower grades did not attend when they should have been catching up on work. Now, absences on Mondays are counted, providing extra incentive to show up. Woolstenhulme said, “[Teachers are] trying to help these kids that are behind in [their] classes, and kids aren't showing up. We've got to switch our messaging and think about [it as a] half day. If kids are all caught up, then we can excuse them.” Instead of a day off, it is required for students in need of extra help to attend.
Although attendance on Monday is required for some students, the incentive of a possible day off is enough for many students to keep up in class. About 600 students every week are required to attend, meaning that around 55% of students get that extra day off.
Meet our talented staff, including our advisor and our editors!
The Buzzcast Podcast
We have a podcast! By the students and for the students, we supply ideas, entertainment, school events, world news, and more! To stay engaged with the students, staff, and community of Bonneville High School, listen on Spotify, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, and most podcast streaming platforms!
Old Issues and Archives
Throwback articles, old issues, and archives of the great Bonneville Buzz!
The Buzz Pages
Similar to the printed version of The Buzz, these are categories that organize our stories. Find these specific pages by clicking "more" at the top of the page!