October 30, 2019

High student absenteeism becoming a big issue

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

On any given school day last year there was an average of 143 students absent from classes at Watford City schools. And considering that amounted to nearly eight percent of the school district’s enrollment not being in class on any given day, Steve Holen, McKenzie County Public School District superintendent, is very concerned.
And so far in the 2019-20 school year, Holen says the absentee rate isn’t improving.
According to school district attendance records from the start of this school year through Oct. 23, the elementary school (kindergarten through fifth grade) absentee rate was 6.5 percent, while middle school (grades 6 through 8) showed an absentee rate of 6.1 percent. At the high school (grades nine through 12), the daily absentee rate was nine percent with the freshmen class missing the most school days with a 10.2 absentee rate.
“We definitely have an attendance issue,” states Holen. “It is a big issue for us and a major focus of the school district.”

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