In an effort to comply with a State mandate, Williamson County Schools will be taking a closer look at attendance beginning next fall, especially at the high school level.
Students who miss 18 school days per year will be considered “chronically absent” according to the Tennessee Department of Education, and beginning with the 2017-18 school year, the State will use a new accountability measure called the Chronically Out-of-School indicator which will place a larger emphasis on attendance when the district and schools are given performance scores.
“A review of our data from 2016-17 shows that we have a slight problem with attendance in upper grades,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney. “We will be more aggressive with regard to student attendance next year, especially with juniors and seniors.”
The State is increasing its expectations for attendance, and each school’s student absences records will be reflected on the district’s state report card.
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. Students who miss 18 days for any reason will be reported as chronically absent on his or her attendance record.
The School Board is considering adding a policy to cover the new state mandate. The policy is scheduled to be discussed at the August policy committee meeting.