Superintendent Message (English)

What is the impact of missing two or more school days per month?

 We have had another fabulous start to a school year and the school district has hit the ground running! Our students have returned from summer break rested and ready to learn, and we’ve really established a strong foundation for learning. An element of this foundation for learning- student attendance- is what I want to write about today.

Our staff and leadership team will take a serious look at student attendance this year, as we know that attendance is hugely important, and is crucial for high levels of learning and achievement. I will start with sharing data that outlines the percentage of regular attenders at each of our schools (defined by students who attended more than 90% of their enrolled school days):

  • Grade School- 80% of students attended more than 90% of enrolled school days.
  • Junior High- 73% of students attended more than 90% of enrolled school days.
  • High School- 61% of students attended more than 90% of enrolled school days.

Missing more than 90% of school days, or just two days per month, is considered chronically absent. Missing 10 percent or more of school days due to absence for any reason - excused, unexcused absences and suspensions, can translate into third-graders unable to master reading, sixth-graders failing subjects and ninth-graders dropping out of high school. In fact, research shows that missing 10% of the school year, or about 18 days, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Our administration team will discuss our attendance practices and talk about what we can do to encourage better student attendance. You can expect our school administration and office teams to continue making phone calls and sending regular letters throughout the year to those families with students that are missing more than 10% of school days. We need to create and support a culture where school staff and parents partner to make regular attendance a priority.

In past messages, I have asked the questions, What do we want a 25-year-old Dayton High School graduate to look like? [and] What opportunities do we want for our kids?  Regular attendance is a life skill and is vital to a young adult’s future success. The truth is, most employers would have serious concerns about an employee’s attendance if it dropped below 95-97%.

Parents, guardians, and community members, let’s partner together to encourage our students to build strong attendance habits early… not only will this increase student learning and achievement in school, but will also set the stage for strong attendance habits in life and work beyond high school.

We have many great things happening and Im looking forward to continuing our work and providing the very best education possible to all of Dayton’s students!


Jason Hay