Regular attendance is always stressed in Russellville Independent Schools, but next Tuesday, Panthers of all ages will work to bring the importance of consistently being in school to the forefront, during High Attendance Day in Kentucky Schools.
“Hopefully all our students will make an effort to be here that day so we can be recognized as one of the districts with the highest attendance,” said Superintendent Leon Smith.
On High Attendance Day, students from Stevenson Elementary, Russellville Middle School and Russellville High School will compete against students from other schools their size for the honor of having the highest attendance in the state. The school with the highest percentage of attendance in each category will win $500.
While the cash prize is a great incentive for students to attend school, regular attendance has far more benefits.
“Students who attend school on a regular basis are more successful in life and learn at an early age the responsibility of being on time,” said Russellville Independent Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Claudia Crump.
Crump said the best thing parents can do to encourage their children to develop good school attendance habits “is being a positive role model and letting their children know that they expect them to attend school every day, on time, just like they go to work each day.”
In addition, it’s important for parents to establish specific times for homework and bedtime.
“Unfinished homework and too little sleep are the common reasons why parents hear the words, ‘I don’t feel good’ on school mornings,” Crump said.
According to a press release from Frank Ashby, president of the Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel, “regular attendance is essential for success in school. By attending class regularly, a student is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and achieve academic performance benchmarks on time.
“Research reflects a child’s attendance record is one of the strongest single predictors of their academic success.”
A vital benefit of regular school attendance for older students is the opportunity for the children to learn more about college and other opportunities that may be available to them after graduation. These students will also have, due to consistently high attendance, the chance to perform to their highest potential on important exams they need to build a successful academic record.
Students with irregular attendance “tend to fall behind and are continuously struggling to catch up,” according to the information from Ashby. “This diminishes their confidence and attitude toward learning. Students who accumulate unexcused absence events may be petitioned to the court system to address truancy.”
Besides encouraging children to get into the habit of consistently attending school, “parents should stay involved (in their child’s academic life) by monitoring their child’s progress and grades, contacting teachers with questions or concerns and attending school functions and meetings,” the press release said.