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New school rules of engagement

Education Minister Marilyn More is confident new measures to curb student absenteeism will keep kids in the classroom.

Education Minister Marilyn More is confident new measures to curb student absenteeism will keep kids in the classroom.

At Halifax West High School yesterday, More announced she accepted 10 out of 13 recommendations made by an education committee on student absenteeism in the province.

According to More, the new initiatives will not cost the department any additional funding.

Among the recommendations accepted was the creation of a pilot program, which schools can opt into, requiring students to attend a minimum of 80 per cent of classes to be eligible for a credit.

But More said there would be some wiggle room for students with exceptional circumstances.

“We’re going to work on common definitions of what’s excusable and what’s not excusable,” said More.

“We want to make sure that particular initiative achieves what we think it will achieve, and that’s why we’re doing it on a pilot basis and not making it a permanent solution.”

Some students balked at the increased authority yesterday, and they didn’t share More’s confidence the measures will keep kids in the classroom.

“I’m a bit paranoid about missing something, but if I can keep my marks up without missing something, why not?” said Sam Dellapinna, a Grade 12 at Citadel High.

“It shouldn’t matter if you do all your work ... (and) if you get good marks,” said Laura Kelly, 16.

 
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