Local schools trying to fill their seats Featured Photo

Local schools trying to fill their seats

Gina Potthoff, Staff Writer
Santa Maria Times.com

Some parents of children in the Lompoc Unified School District were finding out about their offspring’s frequent absences later than others, a continuity problem school officials viewed as an overall attendance issue.

In January the district started using an outside company, School Innovations & Advocacy (SIA), to generate and send parent notification of chronic absences and tardies - the hope being to reduce student absences, improve the student attendance to enrollment ratio and to better inform parents.

Capturing more Average Daily Attendance (ADA) state funding dollars by getting students in seats has also become increasingly more important for districts, especially when categorical funding is cut year after year.

Sheldon Smith, assistant superintendent of business, is confident SIA’s Attention2Attendance program will help the district meet an overall 97 percent attendance goal as enrollment falls 1.5 percent each year.

“It unifies our attendance notification procedures with parents, thus reminds the parents that attendance does matter because we want students in school,” Smith said.