The editorial "Absenteeism starts early" from Tuesday, Oct. 15, cites a study by the University of Utah supporting the importance of attendance and success in school. The study states that patterns of attendance in early years have an impact on children later in life. I completely agree with the study; our children should be in school learning responsibility, learning new concepts, and being stretched by new environments.
Ogden City School District also seems to agree. As a parent of children in the Ogden City School District, I noticed much emphasis placed on attendance in newsletters I received and phone calls made from the schools, especially in September.
The month of October, however, seemed to contradict this study. In the entire month, there was not one full, regular week of school. With parent-teacher conference half days, fall break, and data dives, my children did not have the opportunity to attend school, if they wanted to. What is the pattern being set for our children?
Educators need time to plan and time to collaborate, that is understandable. However, when emphasis is placed on attendance and the importance it plays in education, I have a hard time believing that the Ogden City School District really agrees with the study or it is just saying it does.
I want my children to have as much classroom time, with their classroom teachers and classmates as possible. How do educators have enough time to provide adequate learning opportunities if they are always being pulled out of the classroom for training or are always analyzing data? My children are not just the numbers they produce, they are sponges ready to learn, they need more instructional time.
Patterns for success and in this case attendance, start with responsible parents and those in charge. I would like the Ogden City School District to assess how they are supporting attendance and help me, as a parent, set these important patterns for my children's future success.