74.8 F
Sunday, October 1, 2023

Marion school district launches campaign to combat low attendance

Marion County Public Schools is kicking off a year-long campaign in an effort to improve student attendance on a daily basis.

In partnership with the national campaign through Attendance Works, this year’s recurrent theme of “Showing Up Together!” stresses the partnership that it takes for students to attend school regularly with strong support from family and the community.

“Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, regular attendance is essential for students gaining the academic and social skills they need to thrive,” stated MCPS in a press release.

If a student misses just two days of school each month, then they miss 18 days of learning, which is 10% of the entire school year. Some students miss even more school days and are considered truant under Florida law.

According to MCPS, research shows that chronically absent students who miss 10% or more of the school year are less likely to read proficiently by third grade, achieve in middle school, and graduate on-time from high school.

So far this school year, MCPS states that just 84% of students are regularly attending school. This means that 16% are chronically absent, and that number is trending up.

Last school year, one-third of students in Marion County chronically missed more than 10% of the entire school year.

Parents, families, relatives, caregivers, and the community at-large can support student attendance by ensuring that students arrive at school on time every day, though sickness, death, and other issues may impact attendance temporarily.

MCPS states that the year-long campaign “speaks to the importance of joining together to address the devastating impacts from interrupted learning and increased economic stress.” The school district recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic is a contributing factor since school attendance has “never fully recovered.”

Through the “Showing Up Together!” campaign, MCPS plans to highlight the value of enhancing partnerships between communities, schools, students, and families to build and implement long-term plans to address today’s high levels of absenteeism.

“The entire community benefits when children and youth have equal opportunity to gain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school, work, and life. ‘Showing Up Together!’ will improve school attendance if everyone works together to ensure regular school attendance happens,” states MCPS.

For more information, contact the MCPS Public Relations Office via phone (352-671-7555) or email (Public.Relations@marion.k12.fl.us), or visit the Attendance Works website.