School prepares for new attendance standard
With the understanding that students can't learn if they're not in class, schools have always tracked attendance. The method by which Missouri schools measure successful attendance rates will soon be changing, however.
Troy Marnholtz, Concordia High School principal, told the Concordia R-2 Board of Education about the change at its regular meeting last week.
Marnholtz said the change is part of the next phase of the Missouri School Improvement Plan, known as MSIP 5.
"In the past, we were evaluated on our average attendance and a satisfactory number was 95 percent," he said. "Each school is going to evaluated on how many of our students are obtaining over 90 percent attendance."
Marnholtz said the state standard will be for 90 percent of the student body to reach that goal.
"How are you going to do that?" asked Board President Tony Bittiker.
"That's a good question," was Marnholtz's reply.
In preparation for the upcoming evaluation change, Marnholtz is tracking both the average attendance and individual attendance. With 238 enrolled students, the average attendance rate for September was just shy of the current standard, coming in at 94.34. Looking at the individual rate, however, the district is much farther from the MSIP 5 standard.
There are 37 students below the 90 percent threshold, resulting in a rate of only 84.5 percent.
Marnholtz told the board he would continue to monitor the situation and develop means to address the deficiency should it continue into the future.