I wish I had seen this posting sooner!!!!
I work at a secondary/high school with just under 1,000 students in a relatively poor area.
Things are pretty complicated at my school regarding attendance too! I have the glorious honor of signing in the tardy kids during homeroom and first period. I am bombarded by a minimum of 60 kids DAILY who all need late passes. After which, a duplicate copy of their late pass needs to be filed. Students with 5 or more unexcused latenesses get lunch detention. BIG DEAL. There are students that are late EVERYDAY and think detention is FUN. Do the teachers take attendance every period? Absolutely not, that's not a teacher's responsiblity (that's a direct quote). Do parents call me when their kids are going to be absent? Maybe about 30% of parents call their kids in. The others? Who knows. The attendance situation at this school is very dangerous. There are probably truants wandering around this town everyday. Believe me, it's not a big town.
As for F/U calls with parents regarding absences...I'm lucky if all of the late passes and absentees get entered into the computer by 11:00!! I absolutely do not have time to hunt down parents.
This is my first year at this school and let me tell you, I'm getting ready to jump out the window with this attendance crap sometimes. The other nurse in my district feels the same way and we plan on forcing the district to change things or hire more nurses.
IT IS NOT A NURSES JOB TO DO ATTENDANCE. I am here to maintain the health and well being of the students and faculty. There is no reason why half of my day needs to be monopolized with busy work. Yes, I'd like to be informed when a student is hospitalized or fighting a serious illness. Do I need to know that Tommy is going to miss 5 days cause the family is going to visit grandma in Florida? NO.
Nurses are given the attendance responsibility b/c we are cheap labor and are less likely to stick up for ourselves (little or no barganing power).
Frankly, thing will probably not change here untill a student is found dead on the side of the road.
I agree with Mrs. I too love the days when I am asked to F/U regarding a situation with a student after not being included in their "crisis intervention." I had a student last month who threatened suicide to the school psycologist. I found out about it, not from a faculty member but from another student!!! Meanwhile, the student who threatened suicide is wheelchair bound and uses my bathroom at least twice a day b/c it's the only one that is w/c accessible. Does he lock the door when he goes in there ALONE? Well of course he does! I couldn't believe that I would be ignored like that. But heaven forbid they need me during my lunch break cause Johnny needs an ice pack or some such nonsense.
Sorry for being so sarcastic and angry but I feel very strongly about all this...