The Metropolitan Public School Districts have identified a need to unite and work together to increase attendance for students.
Monday, February 4 has been chosen by school districts and community leaders to create awareness of the importance of consistent attendance in school. A variety of information about chronic absenteeism and strategies to address it will be shared across Douglas and Sarpy County. Schools have highlighted some of the reasons they believe this is necessary.
During the 2011/2012 school year the average daily attendance was at 95 percent within the Metropolitan Community. School Attendance is at the core to improving testing scores, increasing graduation rates, and ensuring that students are engaged into positive structured activities.
The community impact when students do not attend school and/or do not successfully graduate is significant to the health and prosperity of our community. Students who do not attend school are more likely to become involved in the juvenile justice system for law violations and/or juvenile delinquent behaviors. In addition students who do not successful graduate will earn less income in their lifetime and are at a higher risk to be unemployed and/or working within jobs that do not provide fully for their needs and/or their family’s needs.
The following school districts have specific activities and discussion planned to support the first Attendance Awareness Day in the Metropolitan Community.
DC West Community Schools – Dissemination of handouts to elementary school parents and students which highlight the importance of attendance. Discussions will take place with Middle School and High School students during their advisory periods.
Gretna Public Schools – Information will be placed on the District Website as well as an article included into the newsletter highlighting that “Every School Day Counts” for all students.
Omaha Public Schools – Handouts and information have been provided to all school principals and Student Personnel Assistance (SPA) within the district. Each school building that chooses to highlight this day will develop a plan that will support the school curriculum. Kenney Elementary will be celebrating the success of their students on February 7, 2013. The theme is “Hats Off to YOU”. The day will start with a breakfast for the Attendance Mentor program and participants and other activities and discussions will following during the day.
Papillion La Vista Public Schools – The District has coordinated the dissemination of handouts to all school principals and have encouraged teachers to include discussions in the classroom during this week that focus on school attendance. The District will utilize their Facebook page and will provide daily posts regarding the importance of school attendance and that “Every School Day Counts” for students. Mayor David Black and Mayor Douglas Kindig will be signing a proclamation to provide community support and awareness regarding the community impact when students do not consistently attend school.
Ralston Public Schools – On January 28, 2013 the Ralston School Board signed a Resolution which highlights February 4, 2013 as Attendance Awareness Day. In addition Dr. Adler will be attending a meeting on February 5, 2013 with Mayor Groesser at which time he will sign a proclamation for Attendance Awareness Day. Together they will discuss the importance of school attendance and the community impact when students do not attend or graduate high school. Throughout the district the school buildings have a daily focus on attendance although on this day they will have specific discussions and share information with students and parents/caregivers highlighting the importance that “Every School Day Counts”.
Westside Community Schools - Handouts and flyers will be provided to District personnel. Discussions will take place in the classroom which will focus on the importance of regular and consistent school attendance.