TUPELO – The Lee County School District wants to ensure parents are aware of a new state rule in how attendance is measured.
Beginning this year, students will not be counted as having been at school unless they are there for 63 percent of the instructional day. That means they would not be counted toward the district’s average daily attendance figure, which is used to determine how much funding it gets.
As a result, Superintendent Jimmy Weeks is asking parents to schedule doctor appointments and other things later in the day and to not check out children early when possible.
“It is not that we are trying to tell parents to not schedule doctors appointments, but if they can schedule them for after, say, 2 o’clock, we’ll still be able to count the student as being present,” he said.
Plus, Weeks said, it is important for students to be in school for the entire instructional day to ensure they don’t miss lessons.
The district will communicate the importance of school attendance through parent letters, parent conferences and newsletters.
Every school principal has identified improving school attendance among top goals, he said.