From the Desk of Patrick McKernan
USD 429 Parents and Guardians:
I hope all is well you and your families. This is always a beautiful time of year with the fall colors coming on but it also brings cooler weather. We are experience some of that cool, wet, fall weather as I am typing this. The changing of the weather also can bring on allergies, cold and flu symptoms, and other illnesses. As a reminder, please stay home if you are sick or running a fever. We have seen a little uptick in positive Covid-19 cases within our school and area. We are doing our own testing of close contacts, and this has been helpful, so kids can stay in school. However, if the rapid test shows a positive, then the individual must go on to get a PCR test for additional verification. I have told our staff and our custodial crew to become more diligent with cleaning and fogging our classrooms and learning spaces to help fight the spread of all those diseases mentioned above. Again, if you are sick, better to be safe.
Now, since I am telling you to keep you kids home, we also have to talk about the importance of good school attendance. As I have mentioned in previous news articles posted on the district website and the student handbook; if a student miss more than 10% of the school calendar days in attendance, they are considered chronically absent by state guidelines. The total number of days a child can be gone to this point in our year and not be consider chronically absent is 5 days absent. We understand that illness happens. We do not want students at school when they are sick and you are the best judge of that for your own child. Research has proven time and time again, attendance at school is a main determiner of academic success, and later in life, work success. Our attendance rate is a key indicator for school accreditation and our student success. We take pride in offering kids a quality education. The state is now monitoring schools and individual building’s attendance rate.
At Parent Teacher Conferences, teachers will be sharing attendance data with you. If you do get a letter from me or Mr. Estes, please contact us with questions or concerns. This is our attempt to keep you informed of your child’s attendance and to make sure our records match yours. If you have questions, please reach out to us.
I am hoping all you and your families stay healthy as we head into the holiday months. Take care.