this weeks edition:
Attendance is important...
Last week’s edition contained a letter from Superintendent of Schools David Dilly. That communication brought out some astonishing facts. My wife and I emphasized attendance with our children and I’m proud to say that as parents, they now see the same matter of importance with their own children.
During my travels to our community schools as parents and professionally, I often saw parents picking up their children for what I considered “no good reason.” I recall overhearing excuses like how they were taking the student shopping, or needed them at home to watch their younger siblings while the parents went here or there. We always felt our children’s place was in the classroom. I compared it to a job… I don’t want people working for me if they I couldn’t depend on them being at the work place and on time. At that point in a child’s life, their education has to be held to a very high priority.
Facts in Mr Dilly’s letter brought to light things like… “95% of the students that are chronically absent are the students that have been identified with significant skill deficiencies in reading and also math.”
The documentation of how many absences occurred in the 2014-15 school year were appalling. Now I understand that sometimes there are legitimate reasons children need to be absent form the classroom. For example one of my grandchildren currently has braces. While my daughter tries to schedule the necessary appointments with a minimal amount of lost instructional time, it is impossible to eliminate taking her to the orthodontist during times whenschool is not in session.
In my opinion, the deck is sort of stacked against our youth. They need every advantage they can get. And one of the biggest advantages is a good education. Now sure we can find flaws with the educational system if we want to, but that shouldn’t be an excuse to deemphasize the importance of attending school. Taking your child out of school for no good reason is like tying one hand behind their back and expecting them to learn to play a musical instrument.
I whole heartedly agree that attendance is important. So here is a reminder of what the goals are: “Goal 1 is to decrease chronic absenteeism over the next five years.
The impact will be an increase in student attendance/instructional time which will impact and raise the percentage of students who are performing at or above grade level.
Goal 2 is to increase parent engagement at all six elementary schools.
The impact will be an increase in student performance as parents become more involved in their child’s education and feel like they are part of the process. “
Mr. Dilly also said, “Parents should be confident and positive. They should emphasis that education is a priority.”
So here is an educational fact for you: “Students with a 95% attendance rate or higher are twice as likely to pass the state achievement tests as those students with an 85% attendance rate. (95% attendance = 9 or fewer days absent)”
We all want the best for our children and grandchildren. Let make sure they have every opportunity available to them. Make sure they are in school every day, all day.
Will return soon...