2018 Jan 18: School Attendance Vital at RES & RISD

Proper student attendance is vital on all RISD campuses in order for students to be successful and achieve their full potential. This week Rockdale Elementary Principal, Alesha Eoff, has important information regarding good attendance on her campus and why it is so important.

            The start of the school semester provides us an opportunity for refocusing our school priorities.  One of our top priorities for this semester is keeping our students healthy so that they can regularly attend school.  Students who regularly attend school have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance.  Research shows that attendance plays an integral role in student achievement.

            The attendance rate is important because students are more likely to succeed in academics when they attend school consistently. It’s difficult for students to build their skills and make adequate progress if they are frequently absent.  Frequent absences result in students falling behind, and produce gaps in the child’s learning.  Missing even one or two days can put a student behind in their learning. 

            Another factor that we monitor closely is tardies.  Our students are expected to be in their classrooms ready to learn at 7:50.  At the elementary, we provide breakfast for all students, and if a student comes in late, he or she may miss the opportunity to have breakfast with their class.  When a child comes into class late, especially elementary age children, it throws off their routine.  They are often scrambling to find their homework folders, locate assignments, and get settled into class.  This can be avoided by making sure that students arrive on time, and are ready to begin their day at 7:50. 

            Along with tardies, we also closely monitor students who are taken out of school prior to our dismissal time.  We strongly encourage you to avoid making appointments prior to dismissal.  Our learning time is from the time the bell rings in the morning until the students dismiss in the afternoon.  When a child is continually pulled out of the classroom to leave early, it can cause them to miss getting their homework assignments, or cause them to have gaps in certain subjects, or in their learning interventions.  We provide classroom instruction and intervention in the afternoons, and when students are absent or are pulled early for errands or other events, then they are missing quality instructional time. 

            If your child is ill, we ask that you contact the school so that we can document the reason for their absence.  With flu season upon us, we want to make sure that our children are seen by doctors and that we keep all of our students healthy.  If your child is running fever, or shows signs of the flu, please make sure that they are seen by a doctor, and are fever-free for 24 hours before returning to school.  This will help to keep all of our students and teachers healthy this semester.  Also, if the child goes to the doctor or has an appointment, we ask that you provide the school with a note so that we can place it in their file.  We also would like to remind you about the Little River Clinic that we have in our school.  Students can be seen on our campuses which is a convenient option for some parents.  At school and at home, we want to encourage frequent hand washing with soap, coughing into their elbows, using tissues, and never drinking or eating after our friends.  We appreciate your support in teaching these basic hygiene skills that we model at school. 

            Our teachers do a wonderful job of creating a caring climate for our students, and the students know they are missed when they are not here.  To further encourage attendance, our teachers provide things such as stickers, treasure chest choices, and other classroom incentives.  We have even created classroom competitions to encourage the importance of attending school.  At this age, we know that it is parent support that plays the biggest role in our children having regular attendance.  We ask that you work with us to provide our children with the best opportunities to learn and grow so that all of our kids are successful.