Tupelo Schools stresses attendance

By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Tupelo Public School District will launch a campaign next school year emphasizing the importance of attendance.
The message will be in newsletters and posters in school buildings and on the district’s website.
“Attendance matters for instructional purposes, and we want our students at school,” said TPSD Assistant Superintendent Matthew Dillon.
The district also is asking for students to make an effort to be in class during September and October. Those are the two months used by the state auditor’s office to determine the average daily attendance of every school district. That figure is then used to determine how much funding schools receive.
In the past, students were counted toward average daily attendance if they were present in the morning.
Under a new rule, they must be present for 63 percent of the day to count.
As a result, the district is asking for students to not schedule doctor or dentist appointments in September and October, where possible. And when they must do so, it is asking them to miss as little time as possible for the appointment.
“Attendance matters every day,” Dillon said. “If students aren’t in school, they aren’t learning.
However, he said September and October are especially critical for the average.
“If possible, we ask students to schedule appointments during other months, or if they have to be checked out, to come back to school afterward,” he said.
The funding is important, Dillon said, because it will provide the district with resources for teaching.
chris.kieffer@journalinc.com