Gov. Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed September Attendance Awareness Month.
The S.D. Department of Education has been working to raise awareness about the importance of regular attendance through outreach to schools and other stakeholders.
“Time out of school is learning lost,” Interim Secretary of Education Mary Stadick Smith said in a statement. “All it takes is missing 10 percent of a school year to negatively impact student achievement. That equates to just two or three days of school per month.”
“With that in mind, I encourage school districts, communities and families to examine their local school attendance rates and work together to get and keep those rates high.”
Research indicates that by 6th grade, chronic absenteeism is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out, and by 9th grade, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores.
More information about the importance of consistent school attendance is available at http://attendanceworks.org.
“Kudos to Gov. Daugaard and the Department of Education for bringing this topic to the forefront,” ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany said. “A school boards most important function is to ensure each of their students is getting a quality education and for the student to do so they must be in school.
“We implore board members to review their school attendance rates and make sure it is at a high level so they know step one of providing a high level education is being met by having the student in the classroom.”