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On Friday I sent a letter home with all 7-12th grade students emphasizing the importance of good attendance. The letter read...

I am sending this note to put special emphasis on regular attendance at school and being punctual. Attendance, starting in 7th grade, matters for your child's long-term academic success. It is not possible to have a child experience everything they missed when trying to catch them up. When students miss school it takes time away from the class while the teacher tries to catch them up.

Students who are sick such as running a fever or dealing with the flu should not come to school until they have recovered. Please try to schedule doctor and dental appointments outside the school day. Coming late and/or missing school frequently puts your child at a real disadvantage. You can support regular attendance by establishing regular routines, avoiding prolonged family trips while school is in session, and coming up with backup plans with other parents to get your kids to school in time of need. Getting a day behind and missing the teacher's notes and classmates' discussion make any absence significant. As parents, we are asking you to minimize school absence as much as possible.

Recently, I read an article titled, "Who Maximizes What? A Study in Student Time Allocation" published in the AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW. The author discussed the impact of attendance on student classroom performance. The results were revealing. By far, the most valuable and important time commitment in any class was the time actually spent in the classroom. The time spent in class was the most important determinant of student success among all class related activities and produced the greatest improvement in student performance. The next most important time spent on a class was any time spent in discussing (formally or informally) what was covered in class. Third in importance was any time spent studying outside of class preparing for the class session itself. The study concluded that the most productive time in any course is the time actually spent in the classroom. That time has the greatest positive impact on overall student performance. The hour spent in class each day does the most to improve the student's grade.

There are many articles that support the findings above. Research indicates that attendance is statistically significant in explaining class grade and overall performance of students. Students who miss school frequently significantly increase their odds of a poor grade in a given course. Because attendance in class is such a major contributor to the success of students, we are asking parents to do all they can to minimize the number of days their child misses school.

Upcoming Dates and Events

Feb. 9 - 2-hour late Start (learning communities)

Feb. 14 - 9-12 Variety Show

Feb. 21 - President's Day (No School)

Feb. 23 - Mid-term

Feb. 24 - FLEX day