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District combats absentees

The Oxford School District takes absenteeism seriously and is asking the community to join in making sure our children attend class.

Officials describe chronic absenteeism as a student missing 10 percent of the school year — or about 18 days — for any reason.

To show how absenteeism has impacted student academic achievement in the first quarter, a breakdown of chronic absences for each school in the district so far for this academic school year indicates the following:

Bramlett Elementary School: 9.8 percent of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students are at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

Oxford Elementary School: 3.2 percent of first- and second-grade students are at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

Della Davidson Elementary School: 6.1 percent of third- and fourth-grade students are at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

Oxford Intermediate School: 6 percent of fifth- and sixth-grade students are at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

Oxford Middle School: 7.3 percent of seventh- and eighth-grade students are at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

Oxford High School: 10 percent of ninth through 12th grade students are at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

Scott Center: 25.8 percent of Scott Center students are at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

Oxford School District: 7.4 percent of our overall student population is at or above missing 10 percent of their academic school year.

“By paying attention to absences early in the school year and early in a child’s academic career, we can turn around attendance and achievement,” OSD Superintendent Brian Harvey said.

The Oxford School District is asking community advocates, parents and students to act on these critical first steps to help stem chronic absenteeism:

• Build a habit and a culture of regular attendance

• Identify and address barriers to getting children to school, and

• Use data to determine when and with whom chronic absence is a problem.

“This matters to all of us, not just people with school-age children,” Harvey said.

We all want what is best for our children, especially a quality education. For that to happen, we must all get involved with making sure our children are attending class.