Dear Parents and Guardians,
I hope everyone is having a great 2020 thus far! I am writing the following letter regarding student attendance. As we progress to the second half of the school year, we are seeing some attendance issues arise and want to make sure that procedures are being followed and doing everything we can to get your child into school daily.
As you can imagine, attendance is a significant factor concerning student success. The more a student is absent, the increased chance he/she will fail their courses, fall behind in class, and lose a connection with the school. We also understand that students get sick, have family emergencies, and things do come up. This is where we need your help. It is essential to follow the steps below if your child will be absent, late, or leaving early from school:
- Send a letter, email or phone call to the school by 8 am explaining the reason for that day;
- Produce a doctor/physician note your child will be absent for three or more days in a row.
We have to make sure we are coding every absence correctly in our system to report to NYS accurately. As a district, we are being evaluated by several factors, and one is attendance. The recent state reports show us moving in a direction that reflects poor overall attendance as a district. We want to make sure all absences are justified, and student absentee records are current. In addition, we will be sending out letters at 5, I 0, 15, and 20-day absences and following up with administration and our pupil services team to look at interventions to curb any attendance issues moving forward. The district has a host of resources we can use, and it will be important to work together as a team (home and school) to improve overall attendance. It is the responsibility of the parent and guardian to make sure their child is attending school daily, and the district is here to help with that. If we do not get the cooperation and collaborative effort to make that happen, then we have to use outside sources to help us achieve that goal. Again, we need your help, as we work together to ensure that your child is in school and being successful.
Below is a document called “When is sick too sick for school,” which details when and when not to send your child to school. Another point of emphasis concerning attendance is getting your child socially connected. We have an array of clubs and activities which will help your child stay connected outside of the classroom and in tum give them motivation to attend school daily. Students involved in clubs and activities usually have improved grades and are more organized, with the benefit of building a resume for the future. I encourage your child to seek out as many opportunities as possible and get involved.
As I have mentioned throughout this letter, it is a partnership that must be fostered to make sure that your child is successful. That partnership starts with regular attendance in school. Working together ensures success for both the school and the students.
Dr. Nick Fitzgerald
Superintendent of Schools