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GaDOE recognizes schools with greatest gains in attendance

​Georgia Department of Education recognizes schools with greatest gains in attendance

MEDIA CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office,    

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November 7, 2016 – This year during Attendance Awareness Month, the Georgia Department of Education worked to identify the elementary, middle, and high schools that have made the greatest progress in improving student attendance. State School Superintendent Richard Woods will recognize the number-one school in each category with a personal visit later this year. This recognition highlights Access, one of four strategic pillars that form the Get Georgia Reading Campaign’s common agenda— Georgia’s platform for action to get all kids on a path to third grade reading proficiency, the strongest predictor of high school graduation.

Reducing chronic absenteeism has a marked impact on students’ ability to learn, achieve, and grow,” Superintendent Woods said. “The schools being recognized today are doing an excellent job improving their school climate, increasing student attendance, and working with their communities to eliminate barriers to getting to school. This is great news for students, and these schools and communities should be commended.”

The following schools had the largest percentage decline in the number of students missing 15 or more days of school over the past two school years, and also had a School Climate Star Rating of 4 or 5:

1. Alto Park Elementary School (Floyd County)
2. Belmont Hills Elementary School (Cobb County)
3. Cook Primary School (Cook County)

1. North Whitfield Middle School (Whitfield County)
2. Clear Creek Middle School (Gilmer County)
3. Carver Road Middle School (Spalding County)

1. Atkinson County High School (Atkinson County)
2. Mitchell County High School (Mitchell County)
3. Gordon Lee High School (Chickamauga City)

1. Taliaferro County K-12 School (Taliaferro County)
2. Woody Gap High/Elementary School (Union County)
3. Baker County K-12 School (Baker County)

School attendance is essential to academic success, but too often students, parents, and schools don’t realize how quickly absences – excused or unexcused – can add up to academic trouble. For eighth graders in Georgia who miss less than six days of school, the graduation rate is 80 percent or higher. Those who miss 15 or more days have a substantially lower graduation rate of 38 percent.

Chronic absence is a problem we can fix when schools and communities work with students and families, starting in the early grades, to identify barriers to getting to school, help students overcome these barriers, and cultivate a culture of attendance that encourages showing up every day, even when it isn’t easy.

Every school day counts, and everyone can make a difference.