Why, Wilson?

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Why, Wilson?

Graphic by Margaret Heffernan

Graphic by Margaret Heffernan

Graphic by Margaret Heffernan

Charlotte Guy and Emily Mulderig

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When you’re scrambling to get your stuff together before the bell rings, the last thing you need is your substitute calling you up to sign in, especially for the second time.

Between PARCC and AP testing, there’s a greater need for subs in April and May; so more likely than not, you’ve found yourself in this situation quite recently.

In the last couple months, Wilson administered a new attendance policy for substitute teachers. With this new system, in addition to taking attendance, substitutes are required to pass around an attendance sheet for each student to sign their full name and the last four digits of their student ID.

But who really knows the last four digits of their student ID without reciting the whole thing? They might as well have you sing the ABC’s to figure out what letter comes before ‘Q!’ This undesired system leaves us asking, Why, Wilson?

Wilson Director of Strategy and Logistics Brandon Hall said that sign-in sheets were made to prevent students from being able to skip class when they had a sub. “We wanted to make sure that we had student’s signatures to verify that each student was present in class. It’s just another layer of accountability.”

While this is understandable, the system varies from class to class, sub to sub. Some substitutes wait until the bell rings to bring it up, making you wait behind a group of your peers counting their digits on their fingers, while others have students line up at the start of class. And while an occasional sub might not have you use it at all, some use it in lieu of taking attendance altogether.

Is this system actually effective? Maybe. But seeing as the sign-in sheets are usually loosely monitored, it wouldn’t be hard to sign someone else’s name in. Despite being well-intentioned, the substitute sign-in sheets only cause unnecessary complications.