Can the Knox County Public Schools count you in?
September 19 through 23 marks the annual High Attendance Week in the school district, and this year the district is wanting to make sure that you come prepared to succeed as part of the team.
Each day will highlight a different focus on the importance of attendance, with the overall theme this year being competitiveness, teamwork, and success.
On Monday, the message to students will be there is no team without me. In the classroom, and on the athletic field or floor, teamwork depends on individual players giving it their best and contributing to the overall success of the team. We want all students to say, “Count Me In!”
Tuesday is the statewide High Attendance Day, and students will be encouraged to Go for the Gold. 100% attendance at all schools is the goal of the day, with students and staff dressing in gold attire to also help mark September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. With everyone working towards the gold, attendance and childhood cancer are two battles that we can declare as a victory.
On Wednesday, parents, students, staff, and the community are encouraged to Tackle Attendance together. The question of the day is, what is your game plan for attendance? No touchdown on the football field occurs without everyone working together to achieve a win. Are you scheduling doctors appointments for your child after school? Are they getting plenty of rest and eating healthy to help reduce seasonal illnesses?
Cheer on the home team Thursday by showing up to school in your orange and black as we show our support for the Union College Bulldogs. Imagine a ballgame without fans. That is what classrooms are like without our students. Help us cheer on the Union College Bulldogs by dressing in your black and orange attire and participating in the many Bulldog activities downtown after school!
On Friday our schools will be recognizing the MVPs of attendance by presenting certificates to those who have had perfect attendance during the first month of school.
In addition to the competitive theme in the school district, our schools will be competing for awards on Tuesday during the High Attendance Day. Kentucky’s public elementary, middle and high schools will compete in small-school or large-school categories for cash prizes and statewide recognition. Six winners will be determined based on each individual school’s performance, regardless of its district’s showing. The school in each category with the highest percentage attendance for Tuesday will receive at minimum $500. If the school has more than 500 students, the award will increase based on enrollment.
Students who are at school every day and are on time have a higher success rate than those who aren’t. Attendance Works is national and state initiative from the Child and Family Policy Center that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success. Attendance Works has designated September as Attendance Awareness Month.
The group notes that getting your child to school on-time every day – unless they are sick – is something parents can do to ensure their child has a chance to succeed in school. While others can help, parents are the bottom line.
Parents can support good attendance by:
• Establishing and sticking to the basic routines (going to bed early, waking up on time, etc.) that will help your child develop the habit of on-time attendance.
• Talking to your child about why going to school every day is critical and important unless they are sick. If your child seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher, administrator or afterschool provider to get them excited about going to school.
• Coming up with backup plans for who to turn to (another family member, a neighbor or fellow parents) to help you get your child to school if something comes up (e.g. another child gets sick, your car breaks down).
• Reaching out for help if you are experiencing tough times (e.g. transportation, unstable housing, loss of a job, health problems) that make it difficult to get your child to school. Other parents, your child’s teacher, principal, social worker, school nurse, afterschool providers or community agencies can help you problem solve or connect you to a needed resource.
• Working with the teacher to make sure your child has an opportunity to learn and make up for the academics missed if he or she is absent.