MARQUETTE/ALGER COUNTIES — At the end of the 2013/2014 school year, schools in Marquette and Alger counties were among the very worst for chronic absenteeism across the state of Michigan. The issue was addressed and through the first half of this school year some dramatic improvements have been made.
After being nearly 10% worse than the state average, it didn’t take too much work to get attendance numbers to improve. Much of the boosted numbers can be credited to a public service announcement by MARESA and other forms of communication from the schools.
“All the districts in Marquette–Alger Schools have either: in their school news letter, their district news letter, their social media, their open houses, they’ve informed parents and community members that school attendance is important,” said Educational Consultant with MARESA Kristen Peterson, “and just that little bit of talking about it and making parents more aware has made a difference already.”
“I believe that by getting the message out and reminding families that attendance is important; I think that’s helpful, “said NICE Community Schools Superintendent Bryan DeAugustine, “I really do think at the end of the day kids and parents do want their students to participate in school and the students themselves want to be here. It’s just a matter of reminding them that it is important. Each day over the course of the year is valuable, so letting too many (absences) of those rack up something that’s detrimental to a student’s education.”
The goal of all of the school districts can be summarized with the motto of the PSA, which is attend today, achieve tomorrow.