The ABC’s of School Success
The information below was my second website posting from the 2013-14 school year. Please give this a read; for some it will be a review while for others it will constitute an initial reading.
A = Attendance
Crawford Public Schools has a wonderful mission statement. It reads Crawford Public Schools, in partnership with our parents and community, will provide rigorous and relevant learning experiences, empowering each student to achieve their life's greatest potential. As motivating and empowering as this mission statement is it hinges on a few critical factors. Student attendance is one of them.
It is common sense that students cannot learn if they are absent from school. Attendance directly impacts student success or lack thereof. A student who is absent will soon find himself/herself behind and likely struggling to catch up. Nowhere is this more apparent than for students developing their reading and math skills. As strict as it may sound, a school day missed is a school day that in many ways cannot be recovered. I attended a workshop last year where the speaker, who is a nationally renowned author and presenter, stated it takes 24 repetitions to learn a new skill or concept. Each day a student is absent, regardless of how legitimate the reason, takes away a significant number of these essential repetitions. Some students can recover but some do not.
Our staff can prepare rigorous and engaging lessons – after all this is our professional duty – yet when a student is absent his/her learning not only plateaus but is negatively impacted. For these reasons, and there are many more I did not address, I urge our students and parents to recognize and honor the vital importance of regular school attendance by scheduling appointments, as much as is possible, that do not conflict with the school schedule. Examples of student absences considered excused include: illness, family emergency, recognized religious observances, and school sponsored activities. An unexcused absence is one that is considered avoidable or non-emergency and examples include (but are not limited to) haircuts, shopping trips, appointments that could be scheduled outside of school time, babysitting, or absences for which no reason is provided. Certainly it is a parental right to remove their child from school at any time for any reason - at the same time a school reserves the right to determine whether an absence qualifies as excused or non-excused. School District Policy 503.04 states “regular attendance by the students at school is essential for students to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program. Parents and students alike are encouraged to ensure an absence from school is a necessary absence”