Every day counts – Part III

Published 3:40 pm Monday, September 10, 2018

As of last week, the average daily attendance for Selma City Schools was 95.84 percent.  This is not horrible but it’s also not a celebration just yet.  On the day that this data was captured, there were 127 students absent from our schools.  That’s concerning.  With the exception of high school students who drive, getting to school daily and on time is not possible without support from home.  There are a number of ways that families can help build habits of good school attendance.

For starters, set a regular bedtime and morning routine.  This will help form positive habits.  At night, limit screen time before bed.  Yes, put away those cell phones, tablets and video games!  As part of your preparation, lay out clothes, school supplies and weather gear at night before going to bed.  It will give children and parents one less thing to think about first thing in the morning.

Even with proper planning, life happens.  With that in mind, it’s helpful to have a back-up plan for getting to school.  Whether it’s another family member, neighbor or another parent having an additional layer of support may be needed.  Families need each other, churches, friends or even coaches to be the village.

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Another important way that families can help ensure good school attendance is to not allow the child to stay home unless he or she is truly sick.  Take note that complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to miss school.  If this happens repeatedly, parents should talk to teachers, guidance counselors or even other parents for insight.  Getting to the root cause of any school anxiety will help students want to attend school.

Additionally, stay engaged with your child’s school.  Know the school start times, about upcoming field trips and how you can be more involved in supporting the teachers and special programs.  For example, right now Selma City Schools are excited about our Don’t Count Me Out attendance campaign.  Perhaps there are ways you can get involved and help promote school attendance.

Finally, get to know your child’s friends and how they are spending their time at school and immediately after.  Friends are a powerful influence.  Be sure that the influence is positive. 

These are just a few suggestions for improving school attendance.  What else can we do?  Your suggestions are welcome!  Let’s work together to ensure that our scholars are not counted out.  Every day counts.

For more information please reach out to me at avis.williams@selmacityschools.org.