January Greetings . . . I need your help.
As I'm sure you are aware, both our state and federal governments have rules and standards regarding a child's attendance in school. Obviously kids are required to receive an education and I'm thankful for the nearly 300 current students attending La Pine Middle School that I have the opportunity to know and work with in this capacity.
Obviously, students learn more when they are present to receive the instruction first-hand. When students work collaboratively and are engaged within the classroom then deeper, richer learning can occur. Therefore, schools are held to at least a 92% attendance rate for all students over the course of an academic year. For the past handful of years LPMS has been able to stay just above this standard. - until last school year. As recently as three years ago we only had one month during the year when our attendance fell below 92%. Last year we had six months where our attendance was below that same threshold.
Below are some statistics through this same time last school year:
We have had attendance at or above 92% on every day of the week only four times this year (two of the four weeks were the first two weeks of the school year);
Monday (91.9%) and Friday (88.34%) are our two lowest days for attendance;
Tuesday (92.97%) and Thursday (92.72%) are our two most attended days;
During the week of October 1
our average daily attendance was 90.85%;
During the week of January 14
our averaging daily attendance was 84.93%;
I fully understand that students will miss some days of school for a variety of reasons. The opening of hunting season (Oct. 1, 2012) and whenever the cold/flu season hits (Jan. 14, 2013) are often the times of the year that our attendance is at its lowest. Understanding that we will likely drop below 92% during these times of the year it is imperative that other times reflect a higher average attendance. Our overall attendance rate for last year ended at 91.4% - thus narrowly missing the mark.
Knowing that our overall school rating is partially based on whether we meet the required 92% daily attendance rate for the entire school year I ask that you join me in an effort to have your child come to school unless they are too ill to attend, there is a family emergency, or the absence is pre-arranged.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions regarding attendance in general, or your own student's attendance specifically. This year we have incorporated some incentives (class competitions for best attendance first period) and friendly reminders (letters of encouragement for students just under 92% daily attendance) among other initiatives.
Thank you in advance for your help in getting your child to school; it is greatly appreciated!
Jim Boen, Principal