Rising prices, raising solutions

How completing a contract might take students off the choices list


Stephanie Lomeli

On Saturday, Oct. 15 Bonita Vista High (BVH) students wait in the quad to be released to their classes to clear their attendance. They hope to make it off the choices list in time to buy their homecoming ticket.

Cherise Magtoto, News Copy Editor

As Oct. 29, 2022 marks the day of Homecoming for Bonita Vista High (BVH) students, the line at the Associated Student Body (ASB) building becomes longer and longer with students eager to get their tickets. However, for students on the choices lista list which prohibits students from attending school activitiesthe process to buy a ticket and attend homecoming differs. Attendance Coordinator Antonio Gutierrez explains the academic and behavioral requirements needed to be placed on the choices list.

“You will be placed on the choices list if you either have seven hours of unexcused absence, if you have eight tardies, or if you are below 2.0 in either your academic or your citizenship (grade point average) GPA. For the behavior requirement, if you’ve been suspended, your administrator has to confirm that you’re able to attend,” Gutierrez said.

In previous years, students on the choices list were required to clear any absences by attending Saturday school before being allowed to buy a ticket. Although, coming back from COVID-19, a contract was created for students who were on the choices list due to GPA or attendance issues. This allowed them to attend and buy tickets to homecoming if they completed the necessary steps. 

“If you’re on the choices list, you’re able to get a contract that was emailed to anybody on the list. If you have one box that says you have to attend Saturday school, your parent has to sign it [and so does the student themselves] t,” Gutierrez said. “If you are on the choices list because you have below a 2.0 GPA, then you have to do a progress report check from your teacher that shows that you have a 2.0 GPA or above. Then you’re going to bring these [papers] over to the ASB to confirm that you’re off the list.”

As the prices of homecoming tickets rise five dollars every week, students are trying to buy their tickets as early as possible. Since the process of speaking with Gutierrez or attending Saturday school may be time consuming, it can slow down the process of buying a ticket, making them more expensive as weeks go by. ASB president and senior Jalieah Ruiz explains how the choices list acts as a motivator for many students to get their absences excused. 

“I also think it’s a way to kind of push them to go Saturday school or to get their stuff cleared before prices rise more; it kind of sets a little incentive,” Ruiz said. “Get your [attendance] cleared before stuff gets worse.”

Gutierrez explains how the choices list and the contract motivates students to perform well academically and behaviorally because it will allow them to attend school dances. 

“The contract and the choices list is kind of like the carrot–these dances are carrots to try to get students who are on the edge of not making the right decision to start thinking about their academics more. “[It causes them to start] thinking about their grades because they can’t do these fun and exciting events without taking care of [these important things],” Gutierrez said.

However, for senior Krisna Masangkay, being on the choices list has proved to be a difficult process. After being absent from school for a week due to illness, Masangkay’s absences weren’t excused right away, which placed them on the choices list. 

“If I don’t buy a ticket this week, it’s gonna go up five dollars and I have to pay 70 [dollars] for homecoming, which is pretty rough,” Masangkay said. “I do want to attend homecoming, since it is my last one, but being on the choices list and being held back from buying a ticket right now, it’s pretty hard.” 

Though being on the choices list can make it more difficult to buy a homecoming ticket, Gutierrez is ultimately trying to make it easier for students. Through a contract Gutierrez created, students on the choices list fill it out and speak to Gutierrez. This contract is aimed at having more students attend school dances and events. 

“The choices list has been at Bonita Vista High School for decades. It’s always been here, so we wanted to make sure, especially coming out of COVID, that we allowed a bit more flexibility,” Gutierrez said. “This contract allows more flexibility for students to be able to go to these fun dances if they weren’t able to clear some attendance, or if they had GPA issues in the past.” 

I just think that absences shouldn’t affect your attendance in school activities. I think everyone has their valid reasons on why they weren’t attending school”

— senior Krisna Masangkay

Gutierrez prioritizes helping students get off of the choices list in order to attend school dances. But for Masangkay, the idea of attendance being used to place students on the choices list should not be prioritized. 

“I think the choices list is a little stupid. I just think that absences shouldn’t affect your attendance in school activities. I think everyone has their valid reasons on why they weren’t attending school,” Masangkay said. “If it isn’t excused then why make such a big deal out of it? I feel as though the choices list should mostly prioritize perhaps your grades, or behavioral status in your classes.”

Although there have been problems with buying a homecoming ticket while on the choices list, Gutierrez encourages students on the list to fill out a contract, so they can still attend. He emphasizes the importance of going to homecoming, which pushes students on the choices list to do the necessary steps to buy a ticket and perform well in school.

“It’s important for students to have a balanced life, with academics, and with your social life. School events, sporting events, prom and homecoming are things that fill a student’s experience,” Gutierrez said. “So I want to give students every opportunity to get off this list and go.”