My brother, Chris called me on Saturday. He tried to cajole me to go skiing for a few days with he, my nephews, one of my other brothers and those precious nephews as well. Chris wanted me to take time off school in order to meet them at the mountain. When I told him for the 5th time that I couldn't miss school, he suggested that I borrow a robot from his Silicon Valley business. He said that the robot could visit each of the classes and I would be able to speak with children and teachers remotely in
between ski runs. #SillyTanners :)
My chat with Chris made me think about absenteeism and the story that ran one of the RI TV stations last week. They were reporting the number of chronically absent students we had in 2013. Chronically absent is missing 10 percent or more of the school year (equivalent to 18 days out of a 180 day school year) regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused. The next day, I researched our data to make sense of what the news station had reported. Although our students had been present
86 percent of the time, 66 percent of the students who were absent that year were chronically absent. (Again, absent more than 10 percent of the school year.) According to studies, "Children chronically absent in kindergarten show lower levels of chievement in math, reading and general knowledge during first grade. Going to school regularly in the early years is especially critical for children...Chronic absence in kindergarten predicts the lowest levels of educational achievement in fifth grade. "
Coincidently, last week, our School Counselor, Miss Nancy, was busy compiling attendance lists. She crafted letters that will go out to all families of children who have been absent for 10 or more days this school year. She also made lists of those little ones for me in order to work together with Miss Lucy, our Home School Liaision, Miss Esperanza and Mr. Edgar (our Parent Collaborators) to contact each family and try to find out how we can help those families with 10 or more absenses have better
attendance. We want to help your family to have your child attend school each and every day. #AttendanceMatters
Each day, the children at Captain Hunt and Robertson surprise me with their intellect, their humor and their kindness; they are amazing children. Thank you in advance for prioritizing your child's attendance in order for our children to be and feel as successful as possible. Our KIBO Early Learning Robots that Tufts gifted us are pretty cool but they can't replace the humanness of our early learning community.
With Gratitude for your partnership,
Beth Tanner, MS Ed