With a high absentee rate getting even higher, the English public school board in our region has begun a campaign called “Attendance Matters”.
DSB-1 director Lesleigh Dye says students need to be in class to learn.
She says the board is working on reducing the number of bus cancellations; and with a high prevalence of mental health needs, it has added staff to its mental health team.
Then there’s the student who takes a mental health day.
“We are really trying to shift that mindset,” Dye notes. “Yes, we all need breaks. Those breaks come after school or they could come on Saturday or Sunday.”
Dye adds that consistent attendance is the basis for continuity of learning, and the board wants to see and welcome students, and for them to be involved in their schools.
One impetus behind increased emphasis on consistent attendance at the English public school board for our region is a concerning statistic from last year.
Dye tells us that 16% of Grade 9 students did not get their math credit. And without exception, they share another trait.
“Those 16% who did not earn their credit had missed 20 or more days of school, was a huge indication that we need to do better.”
That’s 20 days in one semester — or half a school year.
Dye says students like that can’t wait for the board to make attendance a focus.