By Kenneth Tanner, Superintendent
Clay County Schools
I want to encourage students to attend school every day – Attendance Matters. An important goal of Clay County Schools is to help students achieve a brighter future through an effective educational program. We encourage all Clay County Students to dream about their futures, and dream big! All parents and students must know, however, that dreams do not just “automatically come true” on their own. For dreams to come true, students must develop realistic plans for success. They must establish realistic goals and work methodically to achieve those goals, step by step. Such plans for a brighter future must include excellent school attendance patterns, because attendance matters! Dreams of a brighter future cannot come true for students who continue patterns of poor school attendance.
When a child enters school, he/she is taking that first step toward the future. Each child entering school is symbolically handed the “great key to success” — the opportunity for an effective education. But, empty seats in the classroom are sad reminders that children are throwing away the “great key to success”. Parents and guardians should know that poor school attendance will result in their children falling short of their dreams of a brighter future.
What does research say about absenteeism? Missing more than three days – or 10% of school each month, is considered chronic absenteeism. “Absences Add Up” and truancy is the leading indicator for academic trouble. “Attendance Works” estimates 7.5 million students fall into the category of chronic absenteeism. Research indicates, consistently missing three or more days a month can set a student back as much as two years! “Attendance Works” reported the following: West Virginia students, who miss that much school, score 8 to 13 points lower on math and reading tests than those with Perfect Attendance. Being absent from school hinders academic success, thus, putting our students at-risk of dropping out.
School attendance matters for every child, every day. When a child misses school, that child is missing instruction. We live in an area of high poverty, and if our kids ever escape poverty, they will only do it through education. Education is truly the great key to a brighter future for our children. Parents/guardians must not allow their child to miss school unnecessarily. I encourage all parent, guardians, and grandparents also, to guide and direct your children to attend school every day. Help them plan for success and achieve their dreams. Attendance matters and children who attend today will achieve tomorrow! The teachers and other staff members of Clay County Schools want your children to grow into healthy, happy, and productive citizens. We want them to achieve their dreams. We want them to be in school each and every possible day.
What is your child’s dream for the future? What are your dreams for your children? Please ponder these questions and remember dreams just don’t happen. Children who attend today, achieve tomorrow. Make the right decisions for your children – send them to school every day possible. For more information: Go to www.claycountyschools.org