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Absent students issues at Lake Roosevelt

 


A large number of absences from school is a larger factor than are poor test scores in not finishing high school.

That’s one of the key points made in a presentation by Lake Roosevelt teachers Brian Daniels and Jeremiah Seekins at Monday’s Grand Coulee Dam School District board meeting.

“Chronically absent,” is defined as missing 10 percent or more of a school year, or 18 days or more, whether they are excused absences or not.

The state average for chronic absenteeism is 17 percent, with Lake Roosevelt schools combined being at 25 percent, and the junior/senior-high side alone being at 38 percent.

Board Director Rich Black made the point that when the population is low, just a few students can skew the percentage points.

Chronic absenteeism is linked with a drop in grade-point average of 0.854, and makes students 7.4 times as likely to drop out, according to the presentation.

Seekins’ and Daniels’ presentation also accentuated that education is linked with health, wealth, and general well being in life.

Ideas discussed at the board meeting to discourage absenteeism are to reward students with good attendance, which Daniels did this year by giving students with good attendance a free lunch from Siam Palace, and having consequences for poor attendance.

Another idea is to simply inform parents about the importance of attending school, and having meetings with parents of chronically absent students to discuss the issues.

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