Otter Tail County Initiative To Address School Absences
James Allen | Jan 16, 2020 AT 5:45 am
A county-wide initiative in the very early stages is hoping address school attendance in Otter Tail County. Superintendent Jeff Drake says the Fergus Falls School District is taking the lead in tackling the problem…
“…If we don't have students in our classroom every day or as much as possible we have kind of lost the battle before it even started, and so for us we're shooting for 95% average or better of school attendance. We followed kind of the similar format for many years countywide, and we're just looking to change things up in hopes that a little different approach, kind of a research-based approach, may help us further strengthen our relationships with our families and support the needs of our students to help make sure that we see them on a daily basis and that the important work that were charged with can be done…”
The School Engagement Work Group of the Otter Tail Family Services Collaborative developed an attendance procedure to be incorporated into the procedures of all Otter Tail County schools. Representing Fergus Falls Schools at a recent training meeting were Sarah Kampa, Cleveland Elementary Principle Tindy Run, and Area Learning Center Director Kristin Tuel.
The group says the proposed procedures only address unexcused absences, and also in addition, say that records regarding attendance will transfer with students who transfer between schools within Otter Tail County. Unexcused absences are defined by Minnesota Law and specifically within each school district’s individual attendance procedure.