Despite challenging winter weather, the Nacogdoches ISD attendance rate for 2014-15 came in only .03 percent lower than the previous year.
The district finished at 95.97 percent attendance in 2014-15 compared to 96 percent in 2013-14.
The push to get students into classrooms is two-fold, explained Superintendent Dr. Fred Hayes. “First and foremost, students need to be in school to learn and benefit from the educational experience. The second reason ties to our ability to fund their education. Each day they attend school equals money the district receives to buy supplies, pay staff and operate the campuses.”
District police chief Doug Ploch explained the final attendance report during Thursday’s regular board of trustees meeting.
He credited the truancy program, in its second year, as a driving force in keeping the rate nearly unchanged. In the year prior to the program, 2012-13, the district finished with a 95.43 attendance rate.
Those tenths of a percentage point make a difference when state funding is based largely upon a district’s average daily attendance. A half percentage point drop in 2014-15 would have equated to nearly $325,000 less to operate the district.
Through the truancy program, Ploch said his officers:
• Received 2,170 referrals for students with truancy issues;
• Made 385 student contacts and 156 parent contacts;
• Transported 92 students who needed a ride to school;
• Visited 572 homes;
• Issued 574 warning letters; and
• Filed 189 truancy cases with the Nacogdoches County Justice of the Peace.
Winter weather caused a drop in attendance during the second fourth weeks, with only 94.59 percent attending during that period compared to 95.61 percent in the previous year.
Ploch added that he checked with other area school district to compare their attendance rates for the 2014-15 year and found that Nacogdoches ISD had fared well. Attendance rates for the year are as follows:
• Lufkin — 95.22 percent
• Jacksonville — 95.38 percent
• Nacogdoches ISD — 95.97 percent