Sick student expelled from summer school


POSTED: Monday, July 06, 2009

A Kapolei High School student has been kicked out of summer school after being sick for two days even though he had a doctor's note.

Freshman Matthew Barton missed two days of summer school June 22 and 23 because of the flu. When he returned to school with the doctor's note, the summer school director told him he was dismissed from the program.

“;I was shocked,”; said Barton's father, Paul.

The school will not refund a $200 fee because the student was dismissed. The elder Barton said his son had to take history because he failed the class during the school year.

The father said he was aware of the strict attendance policy but thought a doctor's note would be acceptable.

“;Sending sick kids to school doesn't make sense to me,”; he said. “;You shouldn't be bringing him to school and possibly infecting others. They need to be home getting well.”;

The four-week summer school program at Kapolei High started June 15. Students are allowed to miss only one day per two-week semester. The second semester started last Monday.

Barton said school officials should re-examine the policy because it encourages ill students to go to school.

Kandiss Nahulu-Mahelona, summer school director at Kapolei High, referred the Star-Bulletin to Randall Miura, summer school coordinator for the Leeward Oahu district.

Miura said the only two permitted types of absences at Kapolei High are if a student is ordered to appear in court or if a student has the swine flu.

“;It's a real difficult situation,”; he said. “;The issue is that the students are earning credits. To maintain the integrity of the high school credits, we need to establish and sustain an attendance policy.”;

Other schools have varying attendance policies but are essentially the same, he added. “;Attendance is very critical.”;

A day of summer school is equivalent to two weeks during the regular school year at Kapolei High. Each student and a parent or guardian sign a registration form that includes the attendance policies and procedures.

Miura said students dismissed from the program can talk to their school counselors to explore options to make up high school credits.