Wednesday, September 26, 2012

School Attendance Matters!

If you asked me my number one concern for Chadron High School, I would easily know that answer .... Attendance!

Overall, our student body does a very good job of attending school regularly. But it is just too obvious that attendance directly affects grades. With our 90 minute blocks of class time, this is especially true.

This morning I ran some reports to show the correlation with days missed and grades. Take a look at our current enrollment of 260 students.

  • Students absent 3 or less days have a GPA average of 2.5      (5 students)
  • Students absent 4 - 7 days have a GPA average of  2.0           (3 students)
  • Students absent 8 or more days have a GPA average of 1.8    (13 students)
There are a variety of reason why students miss school, but for our state reports all absences fall into two categories: Excused and Unexcused.

An excused absence is verified by one of the following:
      • School sponsored activity
      • Court appearance
      • Funeral of an immediate family member (parents, siblings, or grandparents)
      • Doctor or Dental appointments verified with note from the doctor's office
All other absences are unexcused, this includes any pre-arranged absences due to family trips. It is important to note that according to Nebraska Law (79-201), Chadron High School students can not have more than 10 unexcused absences per semester. Any student with more than 10 unexcused absences in a semester are reported to the County Attorney.

I've always viewed this policy in a similar way to many of us adults at our workplaces. We get 10 days of personal leave (for an entire year though) that we can use without disciplinary actions from our employer. However, in a school environment these absences often directly affect the student's grades as noted above. All efforts should be made by absent students to use 'Access Time' for one-on-one help from their teacher as needed to stay current on assignments. Access Time happens twice a day: 7:30-7:50, and 3:15-3:40.

So, my advice for any student that wishes to succeed in school .... attend regularly!