Attendance issues hurting many prospective MCHS grads |

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

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