‘Strive for less than 5′ looks to combat chronic absenteeism

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:25 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - A push to get your student in the classroom and keep them there.

Jonesboro Public Schools has launched a campaign called “Strive for less than 5″.

According to Learning Loss Coordinator, Mandy Zipfel, they want to reinforce there is power in sitting in the classroom and getting instruction from a teacher.

“At the end of last year in the summer, we started looking at our attendance data, and what we saw it was actually kind of sad. Kids were actually missing a lot of school,” said Zipfel. “We just decided that we’re going to try to reset and reengage our students, our families, and our community and try to let everyone know the importance of being at school.”

Between life happenings, sickness, and the pandemic pushing kids back and forth between school and home, Zipfel says they wanted to take action early this year.

There are signs on each campus, as well as stickers for each student to help make it a district-wide initiative.

Zipfel says last year across the district, each school building ranged from 14 to 50% of students that were chronically absent.

“To be chronically absent, you have to miss 10 percent or more of the school year and that’s right at 19 days and we know that that’s really too many days to be missing. We’re trying to encourage kids this year to strive for less than five a semester,” said Zipfel. “Our buildings all have initiatives in place and were going to celebrate our kids that can reach that milestone.

To learn more on chronic absenteeism at Jonesboro Public Schools, click here.