By Gwen Marshall,
UniteNews Contributing Writer
Research has shown that your child’s regular attendance may be the greatest factor influence in his or her academic success. By attending class regularly, your child is more likely to keep up with daily lessons and assignments and take quizzes and tests on time.
“SPS United” is the theme for the 2023-24 school year; however, according to an article in the Springfield Daily Citizen, Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan said “It’s more than a theme or a vision, it’s a call to action.” Dr. Lathan has offered a big challenge for the Springfield community: increase student attendance by two percent in 2023-2024.
“Attendance isn’t just important, it is crucial,” said Dr. Lathan to a room full of business leaders. “We must shift away from placing blame and begin to understand why students are missing school and work together to create meaningful solutions.”
Some of the common reasons for students missing school, according to the article, are “missing the school bus, or a lack of clothing or hygiene,” Lathan said. “We see homelessness sometimes, and sometimes students experience medical or mental health issues. We have resources on campus to help, and if we don’t have what they need, we have community partners who want to support them.”
Most importantly Springfield Public Schools want parents to know that there are resources available to them at their schools through Care to Learn provided by Office of Family Support Services Director Dr. Ron Woodard. Vouchers from Walmart, one of our community sponsors, are available for food, hygiene, and clothing. There are laundry vouchers, shoe vouchers from Shoe Carnival, and bus passes for students, just to name a few of the resources to support the needs of our students. These resources are available to you by communicating with the Social Worker, Nurse, Counselor, or Community Liaison at your student’s school building.
Springfield Public Schools’ average daily attendance hovered around the 90% mark until last year, according to numbers provided by the district, and dropped to 89.93% in the 2022-23 school year.
SPS United–united with our parents and community supporters–can make the two percent increase in student attendance a reality.
On behalf of Springfield Public Schools’ Office of Student Access and Opportunity Happy Holidays and a Prosperous New Year!