- Sponsorship -

County weighs in on attendance campaign

The straightforward message behind “Strive for Less than 5”, the countywide campaign to reduce absences: The more school a child misses, the further they fall behind and the more at risk they are of eventually dropping out.

Kent ISD and Kent County hosted a media briefing recently at the Kent County Building to share that message, backed by statistics presented by Kent ISD data analyst Sunil Joy. There is a 14 percent gap in third-grade reading scores between students who are chronically absent and those who aren’t, with the impact much worse for low-income students, Joy said. Also, students who have been chronically absent every year since kindergarten are performing at levels lower than those never chronically absent.

To address the issue, Kent ISD districts recently created a common definition for chronic absenteeism: missing 10 percent or more school days. Ten percent translates to two days per month or 18 days in a 180-day school year. Then they created the campaign, including flyers, posters, yard signs and a video, with the help of sponsors.

Kent County Circuit Court Judge Kathleen Feeney said she helps to connect students who end up in front of her for truancy with transportation, mental health services, housing programs, removing whatever barrier might be keeping them from school.

“We are trying to impress upon parents that they need to take children to school all day every day,” she said. “It all starts with attendance. They have to show up to be successful.”

- Sponsorship -
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers and On-the-Town Magazine. She has been covering the many exciting facets of K-12 public education for School News Network since 2013. Read Erin's full bio or email Erin.

LATEST ARTICLES

The year of learning differently

SNN asked a sampling of students from across the county how it’s going for them so far in a school year of multiple instruction models...

‘I want it to look happy’

With help from generous donors, elementary teachers worked to make welcoming, kid-friendly space while following the rules of social distancing and sanitation...

New VP says ‘It feels like joining a family’

Aaron Romoslawski is the new vice principal of Sparta High School. He takes over for Stacey Rumsey, who was named Sparta High School principal last spring...

The changing of guard – as long-time educator and AD welcomes a new one

Godwin Heights Football Coach Brandon Kimble will take over as the district’s athletic director when Robert Hisey, dean of students and athletic director, officially retires Nov. 2...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles

Charts indicate when students should go to school, stay home

The Kent County Health Department has created flow charts for students and staff to reference if they have symptoms that are concerning for COVID-19...

Here come the students; schools try to be ‘prepared for everything’

Area school districts have to be able to switch instruction plans if the pandemic fires up again, and be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in one of their schools...

Ready or not, school year begins as leaders adopt plans to teach, protect students

With most of Kent County’s public school districts opening next week, superintendents talk about their plans to educate students while trying to keep them safe from an unpredictable virus...
- Sponsorship -

HOW'S SCHOOL TODAY?

Engagement: The Most Important Measure of Student Success

Polls find that students’ engagement in their school work declines as they ascend the grades. Tests that don’t relate to their real-life experiences exacerbate the problem...

RADEMACHER & FRIENDS

Food ‘angels’ support hungry kids through pandemic

They work all across Kent County, guardian angels with peanut butter on their hands and crumbs on their shirtsleeves...
- Sponsorship -

MEDIA PARTNERS

Maranda Where You LiveWGVU

SUSTAINING SPONSORS