#AttendanceTuesday to help bring awareness to importance of showing up
Showing up is paramount. That is a message that Johnson City Schools needs community support to remind our students and families. One way the district plans to do this is by using the #AttendanceTuesday on social media to bring awareness to the importance of attending school every day. Another is by placing yard signs at each school on Tuesdays with a QR code that will be scanned and display a special message.
While these may seem like little things, bringing attention to consistently attending school is not. If children don’t show up to school regularly, they can miss out on fundamental reading and math skills, as well as the chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers.
“We need to shift our mindset that attendance is an opportunity,” Johnson City Schools Supervisor of Student Services Tammy Pearce said. “Students not coming to school will not only take away their opportunity to learn new things or be social but there is also a punitive piece that happens to both the student and parents when a student is considered truant.”
In Tennessee, a student is truant when they accrue five unexcused absences and may be subject to legal intervention.
Another common term with attendance in Tennessee is chronic absenteeism. In the state of Tennessee, chronic absenteeism is part of district and school accountability. Chronic absenteeism is defined as a student missing 10 percent or more of the days the student is enrolled for any reason, including excused absences and out-of-school suspensions.
For the state in 2021-2022, the chronically out of school (chronically absent) rate was 20.3 percent during the last cycle. Johnson City Schools saw a lower rate with 11.6 percent, however, we say a larger percentage (20.4 percent) attributed to our economically disadvantaged students.
Data suggests that children who were chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade were far less likely to read proficiently at the end of 3rd grade. This is why such an emphasis is placed on students who are chronically absent.
“We just cannot stress enough how important it is to attend school each day,” Pearce said. “Being chronically absent (missing 10 percent or 18 days of a 180-day school year) can be an extreme barrier that will limit students’ opportunities.”
For more information about Johnson City Schools, please visit www.jcschools.org.