Sumter Schools attendance up to 97 percent

Published 8:53 am Monday, December 31, 2018

AMERICUS — Coach Jimmy Green, Sumter County School’s truancy officer, has announced that the district’s attendance is 97 percent for the first three months of the school year. Green, who has worked with the children and youth of Sumter County for over 43 years, is working closely with school superintendent, Torance Choates, Ed.D., to increase the district’s attendance rate.
“Our parents need to get their children to school on a daily basis and on time to reduce unexcused tardies,” Green said. “Student absences can endanger student and school success. Attendance is important because students are more likely to be successful in school when they attend school consistently.”
It’s difficult for teachers to teach and for students to progress if they are frequently absent.
Green noted, “We do have some good attendance percentage in our school district, from August – October 2018:
• Americus-Sumter High School – 96 percemt
• Americus-Sumter Ninth Grade Academy – 97 percent
• Furlow Charter School – 97 percent
• Sumter County Elementary – 97 percent
• Sumter County Primary – 96 percent
• Sumter County Intermediate – 98 percent
• Sumter County Middle – 96 percent
Green commented, “We are still cracking down on tardies, early checkouts, and excuses for absences not turned in within five days.”
The Georgia Department of Education’s Student Protocol Committee states, “As educators, we all recognize the relationship between daily school attendance, student performance, graduation, and habits in the workplace. We also know that the amount of time actually spent in class is a good measure of student access to an education. Each tardy or absence means a student has lost an opportunity to learn.
In order to address truancy and attendance, Georgia state law (HB 1190) now requires that communities and schools work together to address truancy through the recommendations of their local Student Attendance Protocol Committee, which has two goals set forth in law:
• Ensure coordination and cooperation among officials, agencies, and programs involved in compulsory attendance issues, to reduce the number of unexcused absences from school
• Increase the percentage of students who take tests required under state law.
Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways parents can prepare your child for success — both in school and in life. When making school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior and have a better chance of graduating from high school. The Importance of School Attendance – Absences Add Up. (2018). Absences Add Up. Retrieved 13 December 2018, from
Superintendent Choates remindd parents to keep the school informed.
• Send a note:
o if your child is sick.
o if your family has an emergency or death in the family.
o if your child is going to be out for several consecutive days, make sure the note references the reason.
• Remind your child to turn notes in to the school, and check with the school to verify the notes have been received.
• If you email your child’s teacher about an absence, please send a note once the student returns to school (teachers are not responsible for printing emails to turn in to the front office).
• You may have medical/dental notes faxed to your child’s school.
• If you check your child out early for a medical appointment, you must provide a medical excuse once your child returns to school the next day.
Remember, all excuses must be provided to the school within five days of your child’s absence.