Viewer Melanie Henry of New Madrid wanted to share her views about the attendance policy changes at New Madrid R-1 that we reported this week. She wrote:
"It seems many times everyone wants to complain about change. New Madrid County R-1 School District chose after 13 years to change their attendance policy and it appears that that change has disgruntled quite a few parents.
First, we need to teach our children that going to school and getting an education is a privilege not a right. Next, we need to teach our children to be accountable for their actions. Then, we as parents should want our children to do better than what we as parents have accomplished (regardless of our accomplishments we should want better for our children).
With that being said, there are scores that schools receive, those scores are totaled and a composite score is given. There is a range of different areas that scores are based on: test scores, attendance, etc. The schools receive accreditation based on these processes. Absenteeism is part of this process also. I believe DESE (Department of Elementary and Secondary Education) says 90% of students should be at school 90% of the time.
If one would like to visit dese.mo.gov, there is a multitude of information about individual schools. There are approximately 560 schools listed on that website. There were nine schools that received a 0 out of 10 on attendance, and guess what, New Madrid County R-1 was one of those nine. Do the math on that one. Look at the correlation between absenteeism and test scores and overall percentages. The students have to be at school to learn. It is our responsibility as parents to see that our children attend school regularly. If we make our children accountable, encourage them to succeed, instill in them that an education is a privilege, then there should be no problem with adequate school attendance."
Melanie, Thanks for your email. If you have an opinion on this or other matters, please feel free to write us here at the station.
Mail your letter to:
P.O. Box 100
Cape Girardeau, MO 63702
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