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Every Day Counts!

As a principal one of the hardest jobs I have each year is the discussion with parents about the importance of every child attending school every day. I’m having these conversations because there has been an increase in parents removing students from school to attend haircuts, dance lessons, dental and doctor appointments, birthday celebrations or to go holidays. Although I understand and can empathise (we are all yielding to the demands and rigours of our busy and hectic lives) I thought I’d take this opportunity to share with you why Central so strongly adheres to Education Queensland’s mantra “every day, in every classroom, every child is learning and achieving’.
Firstly, research shows that students who have good patterns of attendance are more likely to achieve better results at school. In fact longitudinal research is showing a strong correlation between student attendance, student achievement and adult pay rates. Studies have found the higher the attendance, the higher the achievement and hence the higher the income.  
Secondly, at school this year we have set up many programs to help progress your child’s learning. These short term programs provide an intense support mechanism aimed at your child’s particular weaknesses. Although costly we whole heartedly believe that your child deserves what programs our school can afford. Most children are supported in at least one specific program, with each program running two or three times per week. So it is frustrating when children are absent and unable to gain full benefits from our endeavours.
Lastly, if students aren’t at school, or they arrive late or don’t stay the whole day, they are missing valuable lessons. It is impossible for teachers to rerun lessons. Therefore your child is disadvantaged. A one day absent each week quickly adds up to two months of missed lessons in a school year. Holidays also eat into timetabled intervention and extension activities. This may mean that your child completely misses out on their specific program.
So, this year we invite you to make it the year when your child doesn’t miss a day of school. Our whole school attendance target is 96% or in other words each child at school for 48 out of the 50 days of each term. Currently we have a school average of 93.4%, meaning that on average each child has already had 3 days away absent.
To help you track your child’s attendance rate our school will continue to send out attendance rate data as part of our iSmart initiative. It will continue to use the data within our Positive School Program (students who meet the school target are added to our ‘Steering for Success’ boxes drawn on parade each week) and the data will continue to be a significant factor in the consideration of student leadership roles and representative opportunities.
I hope this helps you understand why ‘Every Day Counts!’
Check out the new Every Day Counts videos live on DETE TV.