This space is devoted to area school superintendents for them to highlight news in their districts. This posting is from Maple Valley’s Superintendent Michelle Falcon
“Attendance Critical for Academic Success
The importance of being a high school graduate in today’s society becomes more apparent every year. It is our goal at Maple Valley Schools that every student who enters our doors will earn a diploma. Unfortunately, we have some students who slip away from us before we even know it has happened.
Based on research from the University of Chicago, we now have some tools to help us identify students before they even know they are on track to dropout. These tools are called Early Warning Indicators and they are as easy as knowing your ABC’s.
A. Attendance (Miss more than 10 percent in a semester)
B. Behavior (Out of school suspensions or expulsion)
C. Course Proficiency (Grade point average and failure in English or Math)
The University of Chicago found that students in grade 9 who had all three of these indicators present were 75 percent likely to not finish high school and earn their diploma. Possessing two indicators, regardless of which indicators they were, half of those students dropped out. Our school district is currently using these early warning signs to identify students who need the most supplemental support. We believe attendance is a primary area to focus on.
Attending school can be one of the most important life skills that families and school systems instill in our children. Every employer in this country desires reliable employees who come to work and are prepared for the work. School districts feel the same way and have the same expectations. Maple Valley schools is asking for a call to action. As a community, we need to get our students to school and decrease the amount of instructional time missed. Each month we review our attendance data by grade level.
The missed days from September 7, 2016 through January 13, 2017 is 78 school days.
Nearly 30 percent of our students have already missed more than one week of school. This is a major concern for our staff. In order to improve our student achievement, we must have our students in class to receive the necessary instruction.
Our school improvement action plans now include strategies to target those students who have attendance issues.
It is our goal to improve our daily attendance so we can increase student learning. Please help us lower this number by persuading family and friends to attend school. We need your support to ensure Maple Valley students become successful, productive citizens.”