We have completed our first semester of the 2019-20 school year and are officially well on our way into an amazing second semester! Traditionally, the second semester is characterized as a time of great opportunity and challenge for students and staff. On one hand it is a time of continued rigorous academic experiences and on the other hand, it is a time to make changes and improvements based on data from the first semester outcomes.
As we navigate through the second semester, we will renew our focus on supporting the critical factors impacting student achievement. One area of focus is to reduce chronic absenteeism. Improving student attendance is a widely shared priority. Research suggests that most families want their children to succeed and recognize that regular attendance is important. However, few realize that missing as little as two days a month can effect their child academic achievement. There is a critical connection between school attendance and achievement.Whether a student’s absences are excused or unexcused, the resulting loss of instructional time is substantial and the academic outcomes are distinctly negative.
Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reporting of chronic absence is mandated. These reports are used, in part, to determine our schools’ ranking. Our school district ensures that the chronic absence data is used to activate prevention and early intervention. Inasmuch, we are using first semester attendance data to raise awareness in our schools, and to identify where additional supports are needed.
Chronic absence is a problem we can solve when ensuring regular attendance of our students. The District will ensure numerous initiatives to achieve measurable differences in our chronic absence rate for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. Please join our efforts to guarantee that all students have a chance to learn and succeed by making sure every day counts and all students are in attendance.
I feel a renewed sense of excitement for the second semester because of the energy of school community. With collective efforts and commitment to our schools and children, our school district will excel.
I look forward to our accomplishments for the remainder of this school year as we work in partnership to create meaningful and lasting progress.
Dr. Mable Alfred
Superintendent of Schools