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High Attendance Day Thursday, September 18, emphasizes importance of class time for Kentucky students

Karen Kirby, Director of Pupil Personnel for Fleming County Schools, says “For students to learn and achieve at a high level, they have to be in class.”  Ford, the current president of the Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel, added “That’s why we have chosen to designate, September 18, 2014, as ‘High Attendance Day’ in Kentucky schools.”  For those school districts that may be out of session on that day, Wednesday, September 17, 2014, will be designated those districts “High Attendance Day”.

On High Attendance Day elementary, middle, or high schools may compete in small school or large school categories. Awards will be determined statewide based on each individual school’s performance, regardless of its district’s performance.  The school in each category with the highest percentage attendance for that day will be awarded $500.

Regular attendance is essential for success in school. By attending class regularly, a student is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and achieve academic performance benchmarks on time.  Research reflects that a child's attendance record is one of the strongest single predictors of their academic success.

An example of this is in math, where content knowledge is learned sequentially to gain mathematical understanding. If absences occur, a student misses some of this knowledge and may have difficulty fully understanding new concepts. Some students may be able to catch up, but others may fall behind because they have missed crucial steps in learning.

Students with irregular attendance may not develop the responsibility, self-discipline & effective work skills that are essential for success in school and life.  They tend to fall behind and are continuously struggling to catch up. This diminishes their confidence and attitude toward learning. Students who accumulate unexcused absence events may be petitioned to the court system to address truancy.

School attendance is a both a parent and student responsibility.  Parents can help by instilling the habit of attending school every day at an early age and by staying interested in what their child is doing in school from day one all the way through graduation. Parents should stay involved by monitoring their child’s progress and grades, contacting teachers with questions or concerns, and attending school functions and meetings.

For older students, being in school every day gives them a chance to learn more about college and other post-secondary opportunities, and to perform to their highest potential on important exams they need to build a successful academic record.

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