Letter to the Editor

An attendance culture

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Dear 5th and 6th graders,

Your amazing teachers need you in school each day. You are part of our Central Middle School family. If you are sick or have a family emergency, please stay home but rejoin us as quickly as you can. Otherwise, come to school. We need you.

Parents, CMS instruction is top-notch. Our terrific teachers plan for your child each day. When your child misses school, his/her teacher must reorganize lessons upon your child's return and reintegrate him/her back into school. This hinders instructional time for all kids.

Cape community, please support parents' efforts to keep their students in school during instructional time. Please schedule appointments after school hours. Checking a student out and back in to school is a disruption to learning for all students.

According to Hedy Chang, Attendance Works director, students must be present and engaged to learn. She wrote, "Schools and communities have a choice: we can work together early on to ensure families get their children to class consistently or we can pay later for failing to intervene before problems are more difficult and costly to ameliorate."

Let's work together to create a culture of attendance -- where going to school every day is how we do business -- not just at CMS but in the Cape Girardeau Public School District as well.

Students, we are so excited to have you back at school! We are going to have a great 2014-2015 school year!

DR. RAE ANNE ALPERS, assistant principal, Central Middle School, Cape Girardeau