More on the Importance Student Attendance.

I would like to share some things I learned at a High School Principal’s Conference recently to continue to try to shape our perspectives as parents on the topic of attendance. One of our presenters shared that a recent study suggested that poor attendance is a substantial predictor of dropping out, and this correlation pattern can be seen at an absence rate of just 5%, or nine days in a school year. While we do not have a significant drop out problem at OHS, we do have too many students who are absent 5% or more time during the school year. As a parent myself, I want to be aware of the fact that the expectations that I set in terms of attending school regularly and consistently, plays a very big role in my children’s success. I want to share this study’s findings because it reminds me that 95% attendance is not good attendance, it is very bad attendance. The fact is that if we want our students to thrive in school, which of course we all want as parents, we must take action to ensure a very high attendance rate.

As parents we need to understand that the message we send to our children about the importance of school through our attendance expectations, and the importance of consistent attendance as a lifestyle habit, plays a huge role in our student’s success both in school currently and in their jobs and lives after high school as well. You may be thinking, why is he making such a big deal of this attendance issue? At the HS, we currently still have too many students who have had five or more days absent in the first semester. That is a 5% absence rate, and my goal with these messages is simply to encourage parents to exercise more control in their student’s attendance decisions so we can continue to reduce our absence rates.

I would also like to point out that we frequently see situations where parents take an active role in pushing their students to attend school when their students don’t want to. While these actions are frequently visible to us, we also know a very high percentage of parents have established high standards for their students attendance. We really appreciate your efforts, and we also really think you are setting your students up for success in an important way.

FYI–We have changed the date of the Senior Banquet to June 6th. This change was made due to conflicts with Track Sectionals and a baseball game.