Absences

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Sshintaku, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Mar 3, 2010

    I work at a school that has a high truancy and transience rate. As a result of this, I have a lot of students with failing grades. I have students who honestly come once a week, or even once a month. They have truancy letters out, I've called home, other teachers have called home. Nothing works. My frustration is that half my class is failing, simply because they aren't in class to get instruction. This is both bad for them and bad for me. I feel like I've tried everything I can, but does anyone have any other solutions I could try?
     
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  3. verikson945

    verikson945 New Member

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    Mar 3, 2010

    keep going strong

    I think that you are doing the right thing by calling home and expressing to your class how much you want them there. As a student it really helps to know that somebody at school cares if they do well or not. When I was in highschool I would get frustrated when I felt like I wasn't learning or if there was a lot of time wasted during the day. Try making your classroom a fun and exciting place to learn by having group activities and discussions. The main thing to do is to show your students you do care about them and want them in your class. Good Luck! It is great to hear how much you care about your students now all you have to do is show them.
     
  4. chessimprov

    chessimprov Rookie

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    Mar 3, 2010

    Some things you can try if you have time are to know the community there more. Maybe you can network with community organization and/or start extracurriculars that may get some of the students to come out. If your students are poor, food can make a good incentive to them and the parents if that is feasible.
     
  5. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Mar 4, 2010

    We have the same issues in my school.

    I'm annoyed by how much time I put into keeping track all the make-up work. I always thought that it was the students responsibilty, but my admin and guidance department feel that its my responsibility.

    I haven't found that its in my emotional best interest to give it much thought.

    One year I just counted the assignments that students were present for. That inflated grades, but it really wasn't as much as you might think. Students absent 1/3 to 1/2 of the year really don't know much about Algebra. Go figure?!?!?
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 4, 2010

    Absenteeism is so frustrating. :(

    It's a big problem at my school as well. In fact, I just got yelled at by a parent who is mad at me that her daughter is failing my class. I explained that the reason she's failing is that she's rarely present in class, so she misses all kinds of instruction, practice, and assessment. The student has been absent thirty-four times! How is that my fault? ARG!

    There are some things that we as teachers can do to help solve this problem. We can make our classes engaging and meaningful to students, stressing real-life applications. We can show students that we care about them. We can make connections with families to let them know that we care about them, too.

    Ultimately, though, I think that much of the responsibility for student attendance falls upon the students themselves and their families. There comes a point when we need to step back and let them make their choices, at least that's how I feel. If I feel like I've done every reasonable thing within my power and the student still isn't attending class, I will probably wash my hands of the whole situation. I can't let myself get burnt out by trying to help every student who might not want to be helped. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh. I guess I feel like it's just reality.
     
  7. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Mar 4, 2010

    All the comments make sense. I just wish there was more I could do. It's not just my class they skip, it's school in general. The feeling I've been getting from a lot of students and parents are that the parents don't value school any more than the students do, and there is no real drive for them to attend.

    I wish there was a way to get better parent support.
     
  8. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Mar 4, 2010

    We are trying to get more parent support. We reach out, but not many parents have the time. Most are working two jobs each to make ends meet.

    I had one of my truent kids say "My mom was hanging with your mom last night at the bar." The other "I was wondering why she came in my room at 2 am crying. She wouldn't leave my room even when I told her I had to get some sleep for school."

    It these over-heard conversations that drive me nuts.

    Can't change the family.
     
  9. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Mar 4, 2010

    Well it's nice to know others are in the same boat.
     
  10. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    Mar 4, 2010

    ultimately it is the parent's responsibility to make sure the child attends school.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think this one needs to be kicked up to administration.
     
  12. jtlady

    jtlady New Member

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    Mar 7, 2010

    Isn't there a service that deals with this for you?

    This is acctually my job, Education Welfare and if there are children truenting in the UK, they get reffered to me and I deal with it.

    In the UK parents can get fined and on occasion custodial sentances for childrens none attendance as it is the law that children attend school x
     
  13. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Mar 7, 2010

    We have one truancy officer in a town of 40,000. His position is on the cutting block this year due to budget constraints.
     
  14. jtlady

    jtlady New Member

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    Mar 7, 2010

    Wow

    We have one officer per Secondary school, sometimes that officer has two schools depending on the work.

    There are then Primary specialists (me:cool:) who does the Primary refferals and the pro active stuff as it is to why its good to go in school x
     
  15. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Mar 8, 2010

    There is a someone who works on truancy issues, and takes kids to truancy court, but it doesn't seem to really make a dent. There's something like 500 kids on the frequently truant/tardy list at my school right now.
     
  16. atomic

    atomic Companion

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    Mar 9, 2010

    I'm afraid we'll start seeing more action like in Rhode Island.

    We work in school's that are having problems that we can't begin to tackle and we'll be fired and replaced.

    It's a tragedy.
     

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