Superintendent Signs ‘Call to Action’ Prioritizing Student Attendance

In honor of Attendance Awareness Month in September Park City School District Superintendent Jill Gildea has joined superintendents across the county to address the concern of students missing too many days of school.

Starting in the early grades, millions of children are chronically absent, or missing 10 percent or more of the school year in excused and unexcused absences. “Missing just two days of school a month places students are at risk academically,” said Dr. Gildea.

About 2% of the district’s students have severe chronic absences (miss 20 percent or more of school days), and 10% of students have moderate chronic absences (miss 10-19 percent of school days).

Superintendent Gildea joins with America’s Promise Alliance, Attendance Works, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Everyone Graduates Center, FutureEd, Get Schooled, Healthy Schools Campaign, the Institute for Educational Leadership, MENTOR, and United Way Worldwide, in
announcing her commitment to prioritizing student attendance.

“Reducing chronic absence is one of our top priorities,” she said. “We encourage parents and guardians to make it one of theirs. We need the help of everyone to encourage students get to class before they have missed so much instruction that they require academic remediation.”

Under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), reporting of chronic absence is now required. Local school districts are essential to ensuring chronic absence data is accurate and used to activate prevention and early intervention.

Dr. Gildea said good attendance contributes to students doing well in school and eventually in the workplace. “The early school years are essential for laying a foundation for strong attendance and academic success in future years. Each absence represents a preventable lost opportunity to learn in the classroom.”

Students are at risk academically if they are chronically absent (missing just two days a month or 10 percent of the school year). The superintendent encourages parents/guardians to avoid medical appointments and extended
trips when school is in session. She also asks parents to talk about the importance of school attendance with their students.