STUDENT VISIT TO WHITE HOUSE OBSERVED AS AN EXCUSED ABSENCE
HOLMDEL (March 22, 2019) – A Fox News Report today suggested that a Holmdel High School student’s request for an exception to the Board of Education Regulation governing student attendance was denied. The report, posted on-line, states, “On top of that, he said the school denied his request for an excused absence for his trip to the White House.” That statement is not correct.
Upon learning of the invitation to attend a White House event, the student made a request of the High School Principal on Wednesday, March 20. New Jersey’s compulsory education law (N.J.S.A. 18A:38-25 through 31) and related Department of Education regulations provide very few exceptions to attendance requirements, but the District’s attendance regulation does allow for an exception to be made in instances “deemed excused by the Principal upon a written request by the student’s parent stating the reason for the absence and requesting permission for the absence to be an excused absence.”
Holmdel High School Principal Brian Schillaci approved the request for an excused absence and communicated the approval to the student prior to the visit. “I was pleased to be able to recognize this learning opportunity and approve the day for this student,” Mr. Schillaci said. “As a district with a motto of 'Innovate to Elevate,' there was no question in my mind that this should be approved.”
Students at Holmdel High School are able to enroll in an array of courses in History, Economics and Government that includes such courses as “Perspectives on America Today: Politics, Government” and “Current Issues and Contemporary International Relations” as well as “Advanced Placement American Government and Politics.”