Happy March to you all!
As spring approaches, it is an ideal time to reflect on the first semester. At Fort Lewis Mesa Elementary School, our staff has had ongoing professional development opportunities focusing on building a safe, supportive environment for our students. As we move forward, we will continue to strengthen our learning environment so that we best support students academically, socially, and emotionally. As shared previously, we do this through the PBIS lens which is a proactive approach to improve school safety and promote positive behavior. The aim is prevention, not punishment as well as proactive, not reactive.
To ensure student growth and success in all areas, it is key that students come to school. We have noticed a pattern, especially during the winter months, of lower attendance. Excessive absences mean missing school work. Not only is work difficult to make up but also this time out equates to learning gaps and poor grades. Please continue to reinforce good attendance habits with your child.
Here is some additional information around the importance of attendance:
“Attendance Works” (http://www.attendanceworks.org/research/ mapping-the-gap/) has substantial information on attendance and its impact on student achievement. Below is some of the research on why attendance matters.
Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict frequent absences later in the school year. Nearly half of all students that missed more than two days of school in September went on to miss almost a month of school.
Chronic absences: An estimated 5 to 7.5 million students in the United States miss almost a month of school every year. This adds up to over a year missed by the time of graduation.
Early Absences Lead to Attendance Issues in Later Grades
Absenteeism starts early. One in 10 kindergarteners and first graders are considered to be “chronically absent.” Chronic Absence = Missing two or more days per month.
Research shows students who miss 10% of school, or two days per month, show negative academic progress. In some schools, that adds up to 18 days a school year and is considered to be chronically absent.
Third Grade Reading Level
Poor attendance can keep children from reading proficiently by the end of third grade, which is shown to negatively affect their chances of graduating on time.
Dropout Indicator by sixth grade: A chronically absent student is shown to have a significantly higher chance of dropping out of high school.
Every Minute Matters
If a student is 10 minutes late to school each day, this adds up to missing more than 33 hours of class time. A student with a 90% attendance average for kindergarten through12th grade will miss over a year of accumulated time in the classroom.
A few reminders for this month…
Spring break week is Monday, 3/16 to Friday, 3/20
There is no school Monday, 3/30.
CMAS testing begins Tuesday, 3/31.
Please follow this survey link, FLME Survey, and share your thoughts with us!
We thank you for being our partners!
Jenny Imel, Principal
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