BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified has recognized its schools with top attendance figures for the first month of school with trophies, part of a yearlong campaign to boost student performance by ensuring strong daily attendance.
Sierra Vista Junior High, with an attendance rate of 98.14 percent, received the award for middle schools as well as a trophy for the being the overall winner.
Baldwin Park High School, at 97.94 percent, and Santa Fe School, at 98.05 percent, were the winners in the high school and elementary categories.
“Strong attendance is a critical factor in ensuring student success,” Superintendent Dr. Froilan N. Mendoza said. “Congratulations to our four winning schools for this achievement – and to all our other schools for working so diligently to boost their attendance rates as well. Every improvement benefits our students.”
Schools across the nation annually designate September as Attendance Awareness Month.
Baldwin Park Unified’s campaign – “Attendance Matters – Every School Day Counts!" – is a community-wide effort that will feature student assemblies, parent workshops, incentives for achievement and resources for families.
As with other California schools, the District effort includes a focus on combatting chronic absenteeism, in which students miss 10 percent or more of the school year, or about two to three days a month.
“Studies have clearly shown that students who attend regularly are more engaged, better prepared, perform better academically and demonstrate stronger social and emotional growth,” Mendoza said.
Baldwin Park Unified has a responsibility under the law to ensure that students attend school regularly, and may use legal means to correct problems of excessive absence or truancy. The District recognizes that excessive absences, whether excused or unexcused, place students at risk of not graduating.
Board policies, law and administrative regulations state that school absences are only permitted for health or other justifiable reasons. Parents and guardians are encouraged to schedule medical appointments during non-school hours to limit their impact on instruction.
All absences must be verified by parent/guardian within five school days or they will remain on student attendance records as unexcused absences. When a student has had 10 absences in the school year for illness verified by parent/guardian, any further absences for illness shall be verified by a physician or school administration.
Baldwin Park Unified averages 96 percent attendance, but even such strong attendance rates can mask chronic absenteeism challenges for a small but significant number of students. The campaign aims to raise that average to 97.5 percent.
“Together we can maximize valuable instructional time for all students,” Mendoza said.
The trophies will be awarded monthly.