New emphasis on attendance at Lucerne Elementary

Lucerne Elementary School District, Press Release

Posted July 2017

(Lucerne, Ca) Although overall attendance at Lucerne Elementary School District is consistent with statewide averages, there are still too many students missing a significant portion of the school year.

As a result, the Lucerne Board of Trustees along with Superintendent Mike Brown will be implementing a new strategy this fall aimed at reducing chronic absenteeism.

“Good attendance is the stepping stone for learning those important skills needed to be successful later in life,” said Brown. “And on the other hand, there’s a clear and direct correlation between poor attendance and lack of success in school.”

As part of a statewide overhaul of the school accountability system, the California State Board of Education has included chronic absenteeism as one of the measures for judging school and student success. The state defines chronic absence as a student missing more than 10 percent of the school year.

Brown said as many as 23 percent of the district’s student fit that classification.

To help address the problem, the district will be launching an attendance campaign with targeted messaging that educates parents about the importance of good attendance. Communications pieces will be delivered to families in the family’s home language at key points during the school year when students are most likely to miss class—such as just before or just after winter break.

The program addresses the common misconception among many parents that missing class occasionally—especially for early learners—isn’t consequential.

 The idea, Brown said, was to make parents more engaged as partners in improving student performance.

“We have lots of services, and even though we are a small district, we can find ways to address almost any problem,” Brown said. “We have after school programs, homework rooms, and all sorts of other things to help our kids do what they need to do here.

“We’re just trying to implement strategies to make kids more successful,” he said. “We want to help parents find ways to get their kids to school more often.”