After state audits show excessive student absences, PGCPS relaxes attendance policy

 – Prince George’s County Public Schools has relaxed its attendance policy after two state audits found students were struggling to come to class.

The most recent audit, released earlier this month, showed 60 percent of 2018 graduates in a sample grouphad excessive absences in a required course.

Interim Prince George’s County Public Schools CEO Monica Goldson acknowledges that those students should not have graduated under the attendance policy that existed at the time, which stated that after 10 absences in a yearlong course, a student would fail the course.

Goldson has since changed the policy to say that a student with an unexcused absence will receive a “0” for work done that day.

Goldson said she had a realization after reviewing attendance policies in other Maryland school systems.

“So what we found is, after we researched all of the local education agencies across the state of Maryland, we were just one of eight that actually connected grades with student attendance,” she said.

It’s true that the penalty for racking up absences just depends on where you live. The state superintendent in Maryland asked every school district a series of questions about grading policies, including: “Is attendance a factor in grading?”

Responses show that in some school system, showing up for class has no impact on grades or graduation.

Through an open records request, FOX 5 found that in Charles County Public Schools, a school district with a 95 percent graduation rate, some graduates missed a third of the school year unexcused.

Since October, FOX 5 has been trying to speak Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Karen Salmon about attendance issues across the state, but she has declined to speak. Dr. Salmon has refused every interview attempt by FOX 5’s Lindsay Watts for over a year.

Via Fox 5 DC



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