School Attendance Matter
August is the time of the year where we begin to think about those last minute summer projects, the start of school, and fall sports. North Platte Public Schools started school on August 14th. It is a good time of the year to begin setting routines for your children. This will give your children the opportunity to establish a routine of getting up in the morning and going to bed at the appropriate times and eating meals at a scheduled time. An established routine will help the student adjust to the start of the school year and avoid any absences due to not feeling well or not being rested.
Research has revealed that school attendance matters for doing well in school and life. Improving attendance and reducing chronic absences takes commitment, collaboration and a planned approach to the particular challenges families and schools face yearly.
The North Platte School District acknowledges the importance of student attendance and has identified improving student attendance as high priority goal. The District is monitoring chronic absence data, developing attendance awareness campaigns for students and families, creating a community toolbox, recognizing student attendance champions and establishing program interventions to support students and families. The school district and the North Platte community are working together to promote regular attendance and reduce chronic absence.
Principals and teachers are ensuring all classrooms are nurturing and engaging so children want to come to school every day. Each school is ensuring that teachers take roll regularly so students know someone cares when they miss school. The District is collecting and analyzing chronic absence and good attendance data to determine patterns for students and schools. The district has developed and is implementing a school-wide incentive and reward program in partnership with Right Motors and Wild Bill’s Wings & Bowling. Principals will be sending home to all students’ attendance letters and a School Attendance Matters brochure educating parents, guardians and children about the importance of attendance.
The impact of chronic absenteeism hits low-income students particularly hard, especially if they don’t have the resources to make up for lost time in the classroom and face barriers getting to school – such as unreliable transportation, poor access to health care and unpredictable work schedules for parents. District staff will reach out to frequently absent students to find out in a supportive manner why they are missing and what would help them attend more regularly.
Our goal is to start the school year off engaging everyone in raising awareness about the importance of attending school and conveying the right message to the parents and students. No attendance initiative is complete without attention to parents, who are crucial in turning around chronic absence. In some cases, especially in the early grades, parents may not understand the importance of good school attendance or realize how quickly absences can add up. Improving student attendance is an important, cost-effective but often overlooked strategy for ensuring our students are on-track to learn and succeed. Nationwide, as many as one out of 10 students is chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of school days, or nearly a month. Chronic absence is a leading, early warning indicator of academic trouble and dropouts.