Attendance issues hurting many prospective MCHS grads


— With graduation just a month away, a significant number of seniors at Moffat County High School are scrambling to meet graduation requirements, with attendance being the main issue.

MCHS Principal Thom Schnellinger spoke about the upcoming graduation with Moffat County School Board members Thursday, telling them that as many as 20 percent of seniors have significant enough attendance issues to endanger their chances of graduating this spring.

“The attendance thing, it affects us significantly,” Schnellinger said. “Those missing significant time, what I would call 10 or more days in a semester, are at a significant disadvantage to do well.”

Schnellinger reported to the board that the most recent count had Moffat County with 141 seniors, with nine of them likely to need at least an extra semester to complete graduation requirements. On the flip side, 11 students already “graduated” a semester early and have moved on to other education or to work.

Those students still will walk in the May 25 ceremony with the rest of the class.

Schnellinger said he sees attitudes about attending school as part of the issue. For many students, if the importance of attendance hasn’t been instilled in them by high school, it’s difficult to convince them of it as teenagers, he said.

He also was quick to point out that there is a great deal to celebrate about this year’s senior class. Fifteen Moffat County students have taken classes at Colorado Northwestern Community College, with five of them maintaining a 4.0 GPA through 30 or more credit hours.

“Children who attend school every day do very, very well,” he said. “We have students that have taken every opportunity — they’ve come to school and worked hard and they’ve done very well.”

Nate Waggenspack can be reached at 970-875-1795 or


Cole White 4 years ago

1) Patrick that is just retarded! Lets just get rid of high school all together and just have an equivalent exam. Wait...that already have that, it's called a GED. It's for kids who can't make it through high school and meet the minimum requirements that the US and its States have established to get out of high school that are a JOKE compared to the rest of the world. 2) The lazy and complacent attitude of students is reflective of the Leadership. It's time for Schnellinger to go! He's a bad administrator and under his leadership MCHS is at the bottom of one of the worst States in America. 3) Parents of these geniuses who can't get out of bed and get to school are just as much to blame. Too many of our youth's parents in this region are lazy, uninvolved and ignorant to what their kids are doing.


mountup 4 years ago

Patrick, I don't know how long it has been since you have been in college. But as a current college student attending a University let me fill you in. When you come into any class, professors TAKE ATTENDANCE! If you are gone for more than 3 classes, they drop you from the class and you receive an F. Attendance is important! Also being a past graduate from MCHS I can tell you that about 75% of that high school are not mature enough to get themselves to school. Attendance is so necessary for a high school student. I see kids everyday in college struggle with simple math, simple reading and writing skills because they were lazy in high school and most likely did not attend classes. Would you encourage your own child to stay home from school because he already has all his work done? If you would, that is just a shame. You would be the one who is taking knowledge away from your kid.


mountup 4 years ago

Holding kids back solely for the sake of attendance? Yes. I believe that no matter what unless you are very ill or have personal issues, you should be in that chair. It doesn't matter it you have good grades or have done all the work. Attendance is mandatory.

If you did all the things that you needed to at work, would you just not go?

Clearly your argument is invalid.


Cole White 4 years ago

Patrick, Got ya....misinterpreted your comment. I'm glad to see we're on the same page. I agree that we need new blood in both the high school administration and the school board. The laziness behind our athletic director has been alleviated but that is just the tip of the iceberg. I too am looking at running for the school board this fall and I hope if we get new blood that it won't be just to continue to accept the excuses and the status quo of luck!

Mountup....I"m sure Pat is not advocating reducing standards, he's just asking tough questions that no one else is asking. "WHY?" is the necessary thing to ask many many times before you should settle on the answer as being valid.


Militaryfam09 3 years, 11 months ago

I have to disagree with what some people are saying about the whole attendance. These kids are getting ready to start a kids on their own. Some will go to college where attendance is of high importance. Colleges still grade on academics as well as attendance. Some will go in the military where attendance is a high priority. If you don't show up to the job in the military, that person will be punished in accordance to the UMCJ (Uniforme Military Code of Justice). When a person enters a career, and you don't go into work; that's automatic firing with no questions asked. So I support the attendance polices of Moffat county high school. For all of you that don't care to look past the end of your nose, all the principle is trying to do is teach the kids a life long lesson. He is looking out for their well being. I would rather he enforce the attendance rather then having all those kids living on the streets with no home and no job.


Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.