Principal’s Note: Student Attendance at School
Is it necessary for students to be in attendance at school? This answer to this question seems obvious, and yet we struggle to maintain good attendance in grades 7-12. In fact, last semester only 62 percent of grades 7-12 students who attend Hamilton Junior/Senior High School missed three days or less of school. It is mandated by the State of Indiana that students under the age of 18 should attend school unless there is an extreme situation that prevents the student from attending. Here are some other facts that support maintaining good school attendance: 1. Missing as few as 15 days in a school year can put a student at higher risk of not graduating. 2. Truancy is a problem that has long-term effects on children, family, and home. 3. Attendance habits will carry over into students’ lives and careers. 4. Solutions to good attendance required SHARED responsibility among students, parents, and the community. 5. It is the parents’/guardians’ responsibility to make sure their student(s) attend school. 6. Seventy-one percent of the prison population never finished high school. 7. Only 50 percent of dropouts are employed full-time. 8. Even an 80 percent attendance rate is the same as having a day off every week. 9. If you take a two week holiday, your student’s attendance will automatically be reduced to less than 95 percent (less than satisfactory according to the Government minimum satisfactory attendance for a secondary pupil). 10. Prolonged absences can lead to loneliness and bullying.
As the Hamilton Junior/Senior High School Principal, I encourage parents/guardians to talk with your students about good school attendance. Students must recognize that their parents, community, and teachers value good attendance “on the job.” This may mean planning family activities around the school calendar and evaluating true sickness in order to demonstrate the importance of being at school. I welcome parent/patron ideas in helping Hamilton Junior/Senior High School improve its attendance rate.
Christy Haupert, 7-12 Principal