Focusing on Attendance
As the year moves forward, students are heading into a part of the school year where it may be tough to focus on academics. Holidays, school activities, and the simple excitement of the end of a semester have an impact on attitudes. This period is followed by January which I have often called the 31 day Monday. It can be especially tough to stay focused during the long haul of winter.
Maintaining good attendance can also be tough during this time of year. Absenteeism can have a dramatic impact on a student’s overall academic success. While in the grade school, frequent absences have a significant impact on a student’s performance in reading, writing, math, and overall school achievement. In high school, high levels of absenteeism correlates with high chances of dropping out. In fact, a student that is chronically absent (attends less than 90%) is 68% less likely to graduate.
Excused or unexcused, absences from school impact each student’s education. A student that misses 1½ days a month of school will have missed an entire year’s worth of instruction by the end of their senior year. The reason for missing school does not change the impact of missing school.
Recognizing that attendance and school success are directly linked, the USD 439 leadership team has begun discussing strategies to improve attendance. Through this process, staff will be mindful of attendance as we help provide feedback to parents. We will also help our students celebrate accomplishments towards this goal as the year moves forward. There will be more to come regarding the district’s goals and programs to help our students continue their path to Cardinal Success!