School attendance is a predictor of future success.

Posted by Christi Whiteside on 9/7/2018 2:50:00 PM

School attendance is a predictor of future success.

Last year at Endeavor, there were 70 students with 6 or more unexcused absences - 14% of our population!  Last year 20 students of those students had 10 or more unexcused absences - 4% of our population! Those are staggering numbers which represent a tremendous loss of education.  Those numbers prompted us to set a school goal focused on decreasing such excessive absences.

Goal: At the end of 2018-2019 less than 10% of our students will have 6 or more unexcused absences.

We recognize that many absences coded as unexcused may have actually been excused, but the school was not notified.  This year, please notify your child’s homeroom teacher or the front office if your student is absent for an excused reason.  Absences are considered excused for the following reasons:

1. Illness or injury 2. Quarantine 3. Religious observation 4. Death in the immediate family 5. Medical or dental appointment (with a note from the doctor) 6. Court proceedings 7. Absence related to military deployment activities 8. Educational experiences equivalent to what will be missed and that have been approved by the Director two weeks PRIOR to the absence.  Please refer to the Family Handbook for more details.

As per NC Compulsory Attendance Law, families must be contacted when their child’s unexcused absences become excessive.  This year, Mrs. White, our Student Assistance Program Coordinator, will contact you if your child reaches 3 or 6 unexcused absences for the purpose of offering support to ensure your child attends ECS regularly. The first batch of those letters goes out today.  Our goal in these letters, other than in complying with the law, is to share our concern and offer support. 

If a child reaches 10 unexcused absences, I will reach out to schedule a meeting with that child’s family and our new truancy committee.  The purpose of this meeting will be to offer the family the opportunity to explain the reason for the excessive absences.  The committee will determine whether your child will need to repeat the current grade level, whether we will need to involve the district attorney and/or the director of social services of the county where the child resides, or whether there is an alternative. As a committee, we will also consider whether the absences warrant requiring the child to repeat the current grade level.   

Why is it so Important to attend every day?

• Learning is a progressive activity; each day's lessons build upon those of the previous day(s).

• Reading the material and completing work independently does not compensate for the loss of insight gained during class discussion or the loss of competency acquired through explanation or supervised drill.

• Many classes use lectures, discussions, demonstrations, experiments and participation as part of the daily learning activities, and these cannot be made up by those who are absent.

• Relationships with teachers and other students are built through shared experiences.  Missing school means missing those experiences.

• Regular student participation in daily classroom activities plays a significant role in a student's school success.

• Regular school attendance patterns encourage the development of other responsible patterns of behavior.

• Students who develop an "on the job" attitude toward school will be more desirable to future employers.

 Adapted from:

This year as you make decisions about your child’s school attendance, please consider the experiences and opportunities in each school day. Schedule your child’s appointments and vacations for track out days rather than school days.  Notify the school of the reasons for your child’s absences.

Look forward to a year of great attendance!

Christi Whiteside

Director, Endeavor Charter School