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Oxford School District Adopts Attendance Matters Campaign

Miranda Grayzel-Ward

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Attendance – or lack thereof – has become a nationwide issue over the past couple of years.

The Oxford School District, however, is trying to end the crisis and make a stand against chronic absenteeism.

“Our attendance campaign is part of a national push to stress the importance of student attendance in school,” Superintendent Brian Harvey said via email. “Research proves that when students miss 10 percent or 18 days of school, they are more at risk of falling behind their peers and becoming a dropout.”

The district believes that the best way to combat this problem is with the “Attendance Matters Campaign.” The goal of the “Attendance Matters Campaign” is simple. The district hopes to end or decrease absenteeism with three simple steps. They are as follows: “to build a habit and 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.”

Harvey and the School district are especially making a push for attendance in the beginning months of school (September, October and November).

“We like to push attendance this time of year because during the months of September, October and November, foundations are laid for success during the rest of the school year,” Harvey said.

While the district believes that this is the best option to fight the epidemic, students differ in opinion when it comes to the importance of being present in school.

“I don’t understand why there is such a push to have attendance, if kids are genuinely trying to come to school when they can,” OHS junior Virginia Parkinson said. “I find it important if you are invested in your education to show up, but I recognize that students have a life outside of school.”

Said senior Claire Gershon, “I think it is important but I also think the school needs to be more lenient about people missing school for real, legitimate issues.”

Parkinson added that the importance of being present in school has already been ingrained in them and that there does not need to be a campaign for it.

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Oxford School District Adopts Attendance Matters Campaign