Students Allowed to Use Phones to Improve Attendance


Ashlee Burns

Administrators have recently provided a new incentive to get students to come to school, and it seems to be working. As long as students continue to achieve 95% attendance, they may use their phones during their lunch period.

The goal is to reach 96% attendance and prevent truancy by encouraging students to come to school every day. Assistant Principal Beverley Barker considers 95% attendance to be somewhat of a “state honor”.

“If we hit 95%, we’re good,” Barker said. “We would like to have the 96%. If we shoot for 96% we might actually hit 96%.”

Regular attendance is essential for a student to make the most of their education, according to the Student Handbook. The attendance incentive helps enforce this.

“We just feel like if kids are here, they’ll have better grades,” Barker said. “Students who miss school a lot suffer in their classes.”

There are two Texas state laws addressing attendance and truancy requiring school-aged children to attend school. A student’s attendance also affects his or her final grade and/or whether he or she earns course credits.

“Even if they’re a good, A student, they’re losing credit for their course,” ISS teacher Amber Crum said. “Parents have to be diligent. If their kid isn’t in school, then where are they and what are they doing? I know kids don’t like the rules, but they have to obey them. There’s always going to be rules and the better education you have, the better you understand that.”