School attendance is important

September is the fifth annual Attendance Awareness Month. Attendance Awareness Month is designed to promote understanding of the importance that regular school attendance plays in the academic success of students in our schools. Regular attendance is an important factor in a student’s achievement at school and helps prepare them for the world of work. Students not in school have fewer opportunities to learn the material that enables them to succeed in their classes. Research on student attendance tells us several things: 1) Students that eventually drop out of school are absent more often than other students beginning as early as the first grade; 2) Students with high attendance rates score higher on achievement tests than those students that are frequently absent; and 3) High attendance rates are indicators of effective schools. There is also evidence that too many absences not only negatively impacts the education of the absent student but also disrupts the learning for the entire class.

Ohio legislators are putting a greater emphasis on school attendance with the passage of House Bill 410 (H.B. 410) in December 2016. I recently sent home a letter to parents and guardians of students attending our schools that outlined changes in law and district policy as a result of H.B. 410. This bill supports a preventative approach to excessive student absences and tardiness. It also required local Boards of Education throughout Ohio to update attendance policies to align with the requirements for student attendance outlined in H.B. 410. One of the most significant changes is that student absences are now calculated by hours, not days. This means every hour a student is not in school is tracked, including tardiness.

Students with regular school attendance are more likely to become productive citizens and successful members of the workforce. It is very important that we work together to support regular school attendance for each and every student in our schools. As always, if you have questions about our schools, please contact me at the Administrative Offices (237-6300) or through e-mail at

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Susan Gunnell

Superintendent, Huber Heights City Schools

Reach Supt. Susan Gunnell at 237-6300 or through e-mail at