Every Day. On Time. School Today. Success Tomorrow.
This is the message the Lima City Schools will push out to students and parents throughout the school year in an effort to improve attendance and ultimately student success.
The “Every Day. On Time” mantra can be seen around the school district and community, with television commercials, billboards, banners and posters in schools and local businesses.
“We want our students and parents seeing and hearing this message everywhere they go,” Superintendent Jill Ackerman said. “This should be a community-wide push. School attendance impacts not just students and schools, but the entire community. A student with attendance issues now with likely carry them over to the workforce.”
Statistics show that students with chronic absentee issues are more likely to struggle in the classroom, including on reading skills, tests and ultimately graduation. Additional statistics on attendance can be found below.
The campaign is designed to promote good attendance as well as to get at the root cause of attendance issues and then help families navigate those issues. Parent workshops and other interventions are planned throughout the school year. Parents have also received materials with tips and ideas on how to improve their child’s attendance.
“We know there are lots of reasons why families might struggle with attendance, some that we may not even be aware of,” Ackerman said. “We need to dig deep and work with families to understand those issues and then together address them.”
An important piece of the campaign is incentives and rewarding both students and parents. It is important to reward small successes, Ackerman said, in order to begin to make real lasting changes and impact attendance beyond one month or one year.
A number of local businesses have stepped up to provide incentives for the program. Thanks to Westgate Entertainment, Lima YMCA, Open Doors Academy, Speedway, Charles River Laboratories, North Middle School staff, Championship Floors, Allen Oakwood Correctional Institution, Mercy Health, Cheap Sign Company, Sullivan Insurance, Teamsters Union, Lima Pallet, Keller Williams Realtors and Alexander Realtors.
Statistics on the impact of attendance
Missing two days of school a month, or 18 days a year, is 10 percent of the year and considered chronic absenteeism.
Absenteeism in the first month of school predicts poor attendance throughout the school year.
Poor attendance influences whether a child reads proficiently by the end of third grade or is held back a grade.
By sixth grade, chronic absenteeism is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
For every year of chronic absences the student starts the following year further behind.
Early absences correlate with reading difficulties and poor attendance in later years.
Chronically absent preschool students are five times more likely to be chronically absent in second grade.
Chronic absences in preschool correlate to weaker kindergarten readiness scores.
Students who are chronically absent each year between preschool and second grade have reading scores that indicate a need for intensive intervention.
A students is seven times more likely to drop out if they had one year of chronic absenteeism between 8th and 12th grade.
Chronic absences are associated with lower test scores.
Children who are chronically absent in early years of education fall behind peers in social-emotional development.
Students with chronic absences are less likely to go to college or get a job.
When students improve attendance, they improve academic prospects and chances for graduating.
Late arrivals disrupt other students/class time.
Students who are tardy perform lower on test scores, as do others in their class.
Students who arrive on time to school have time to get settled into class, get supplies/materials ready, focus.
Tardy students miss the start of lessons, important information, reminders about tests, due dates, etc.
Students who are perpetually late are more likely to fall behind academically.
Being on time develops pattern of being punctual that will carry over to college, jobs and other commitments.
Students who arrive to school on time every day feel better about themselves and have higher self esteem.
Chronic tardiness most often leads to chronic absenteeism.
How parents can help address attendance issues
Monitor child’s attendance.
Communicate with teacher and school.
Establish bedtime and morning routines.
Get clothes out and book bag ready night before.
Gt up a little earlier (set alarm clock 15 minute earlier).
Post school schedule on the refrigerator or other high-traffic place in home.
Have a back-up plan on how to get child to school.
Talk with your child about the importance of school and good attendance.
Avoid trips and non-urgent medical appointments during the school day.
Make sure child has required shots/immunizations before school year starts.
Identify issues (stress, academic struggles, bullying, etc.) that could be causing child to not want to go to school.