Attendance and Learning Outcomes
In about a weeks time, our school will host a focus group session dealing with attendance and improved learning outcomes for students. I am trying to think of a way to broadcast this as well. If anyone has an idea for this, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am looking forawrd to this productive discussion with parents around this topic. Our school is looking to improve its high school attendance numbers overall. However, I felt this discussion was important so information could be gathered that would lead to solutions. I am not sure of other school’s attendance numbers, but I see room for improvement in the upper grades. As a K-12 school, our elementary numbers are pretty strong (90%).
I do wonder if we place too much emphasis on attendance in the upper grades. Since we promote students to be independent learners, is it wrong for students to miss school days when all of their work is comlete? This way they can pursue other interests, possibly towards post secondary or future employment. What I mean is, are we stuck in the traditional paradigm of schooling (regarding attendance) when we should be more liberal, especially with gr. 11 and 12 students. Is there a 21st century solution?
I throw this out there because I find attendance and related policies troublesome and very difficult to enforce. In our province, there really is not a lot of support from the Ministry or law that effectively negates truancy. Currently, there is no policy for high schools and academic credits (there used to be). Most measures schools may have used are deemed to be wrong, negatively affect learning, or will not stand up to challenge by a parent. I believe many school policies would be affected by the latter and thus not be valid. Few parental challenges though enable policies to stay in place. I many cases, good rapport with parents seems to help best when improving student attendance.
With this in mind, we will have our focus group and have some valuable discussion.
This issue is important as we look for ways to improve learning. Also, I really do not want to be overbearing like this guy. A couple bad words here so I have warned you, but a classic movie nonetheless.
As usual, your input is welcome.