Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Do I have to go to school today?

Are you familiar with the poem "Sick" by Shel Silverstein?  It begins:
“I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps."
Missing 10% or more of school for any reason – excused or unexcused  - is defined as chronic absenteeism. It is an indication that a student is academically at risk due to missing too much school. This starts as early as kindergarten. Chronic absenteeism is a warning that students are headed for academic trouble and possibly even dropping out of high school.

Good attendance = more success in both the work force and in college.

Chronic absence – missing 10 percent of the school year or more – affects the whole classroom, not just the students who miss.  (www.attendanceworks.org)  The time can accumulate quickly!


Arkansas' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan identifies Student Engagement as a School Quality and Success Indicator. Each Arkansas student can gain a full point on the Student Engagement indicator by missing less than five percent of school days in a year. A student is absent if he or she is not physically on school grounds and is not participating in instruction or instruction-related activities. This amounts to missing about 18 school days during the school year. Coming to school late and checking out early also has an impact. 


Students are expected to be at school for 178 days of instruction each year. Teachers work to plan lessons and activities to facilitate learning for each of those days. In answer to the question “Is my child going to miss anything if I don’t send them today?” the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

Check this out!

The Hamilton Project has an interactive map that displays information regarding school chronic absenteeism. As you hover the mouse over states, school districts, and schools, the rate of chronic absence by student and school district will appear.  


Good school attendance supports the following:

  •          Hope – for a better future
  •          Faith – that school will help you or your child succeed
  •          Capacity – resources, skills, knowledge needed for future 
      We all know that student attendance is vital for student achievement.  Chronic absenteeism is a solvable problem. I appreciate your support in promoting good student attendance at school - each and every day.  #WeAreRivercrest

BTW - You can finish the poem by clicking here.

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