By David L. Bell, Public Relations Director, Chambers County School District
TRUANCY OFFICER HELPS REDUCE SCHOOL ABSENTEEISM
LaFAYETTE – During the 2017-18 school year, the Chambers County School District was experiencing unacceptably high absenteeism at virtually every school. These attendance issues made a negative impact on the school district’s State Report Card in 2017 because chronic absenteeism was added as a major factor in determining performance scores.
“Prior to the beginning of the 2018-19 school year, the Chambers County Board of Education authorized the expenditure of state at-risk funds to hire a local truancy and attendance officer,” said school superintendent Dr. Kelli Hodge. “Deputy Davidson from the Chambers County Sheriff’s Office then joined our staff in this capacity, and the results have been amazing.”
“Overall, the district decreased the number of absences in students with chronic absenteeism by 3,970 days,” Hodge added. “That equates to 23,820 additional instructional hours for students who were chronically absent the previous year.”
Chronic absenteeism is defined by the Alabama Department of Education as 15 or more excused or unexcused absences within a single school year.
Listed below is a breakdown of the decrease reflected by individual schools.
SCHOOL 2017-18 2018-19
Bob Harding-Shawmut Elementary 20.89% 16.4%
LaFayette Eastside Elementary 18.62% 14.19%
Fairfax Elementary 14.9% 10.87%
Five Points School 16% 11.08%
Huguley Elementary 12.66% 12.3%
J. P. Powell Middle School 16.44% 9%
W. F. Burns Middle School 16.09% 12.13%
LaFayette Lanier Elementary 13.58% 8.3%
LaFayette High School 18.07% 17.28%
Valley High School 21.14% 18.02%
District-Wide 16.93% 13.8%
“We are very pleased with the accomplishments of this effort thus far,” said Hodge. “With Deputy Davidson’s continued assistance, we look forward to further reductions in our chronic absenteeism rate during the coming school year.”