By Jim Taylor

September has been declared National School Attendance Month.  In that vein, we want to stress the importance of children being in school every day.  In Escambia County, we have the best teachers and staff in the world, but even the best teachers cannot teach children if they are not in class.  We know that education is the pathway to success but to get that education, students need to be in class every day possible for every minute possible.

The research shows that the more days a student misses, the more likely that student will have grade problems.  The research also shows that when a student has four or more years of poor attendance, the chance of that student dropping out goes up to about 60%.  We do not want to lose any students for any reasons, but attendance is an easy thing to fix if we can get parents to understand that through better attendance their child’s grades will go up.  Through better attendance, an entire school’s grades could go up.

 Please understand that we know there are some days when a student has to miss, such as doctor’s appointments, etc., but whenever possible please take the student to school either before or after the appointment.   Please understand that attendance matters and we want every child in school every day.

 Parents can help us by emphasizing the importance of school attendance and talking with their children, their friends and neighbors about school attendance.  While September has been declared National School Attendance Month, we want everybody’s help in getting children to school every day for as many minutes of instruction as possible – the entire school year.  If we can accomplish this, we can have better students, better schools, a better school system and a much better society.

Please help send your kids to school every day to every class the entire school year.

Jim Taylor is a 35-year employee of the Escambia County School System.  He is the senior member of the School Social Workers’ Department.  One of this Department’s main concerns is truancy.

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