With the arrival of the month of September, the Elbert County School District is kicking off Attendance Awareness Month to draw attention to this critical ingredient in student achievement.
Attendance is essential to school success, but too often students and parents do not realize how quickly absences — excused or unexcused — can add up to academic trouble. Chronic absence — missing 10 percent of the school year, or just 2-3 days every month—can translate into third-graders unable to master reading, sixth-graders failing courses, and ninth-graders dropping out of high school.
Chronic absence is an alarming problem that is preventing too many students from having an opportunity to learn and succeed. It affects 5 million to 7.5 million students— more than one in 10 — nationwide. This is not just a problem in middle and high school: It starts in preschool and kindergarten. It is a problem in districts of every size, urban, suburban and rural.
Superintendent Chuck Bell said, "Improved school attendance continues to be an important focus in all of our schools. The data is very clear. When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating. Attendance Awareness Month is a time when we need everyone getting this message out to our school community."
Throughout the month, all Elbert County schools will be working to bring much needed attention to the importance of daily attendance. Schools will be communicating with students and parents in multiple formats sharing facts and information about the impact of chronic absenteeism.
The month-long awareness campaign is part of Attendance Works’ national campaign. Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance. More information can be found at www.attendanceworks.org.