May 11, 2016 By:Hunter Watson
Over the past couple of years, McNary has had an average attendance rate of 88.7%. Even though that may seem like a high number, it is still under what is acceptable. Our attendance rate is four percent lower than what is acceptable. As a school, we need to get that number even higher.
There are many things we could all do to help us achieve a better attendance rate. One of the things that help students stay in school is if they are involved.
“One club, one sport, and one activity for every kid, every year,” Mr. Erik Jespersen, the principal at McNary, said. He believes that if a student is involved in anything, he or she would have more of an attachment to the school.
For example, they want to play soccer, they will have to show up to class. Data has shown that students who are involved in extracurricular activities have higher attendance rates compared to those who are not so involved.
If a student is involved, they will have more of an emotional connection to the school and therefore, they will want to make the school a better place so that they could continue participating in their activity. Once one student gets involved, they may then get their friends involved, so eventually mostly every student will be involved in something.
Statistics say that McNary’s student athletes have over one GPA above students who do not play anything at all.
Jespersen wants students to think of school as being more than just math, english, science, or any other core class. He wants students to have their own thing that fills their niche.
If students are involved, they can feel more of a sense of belonging. Along with being in a group with other students, students who are in some type of group will have a positive adult connection. Instead of just seeing an adult as a teacher, students could have the opportunity to be able to talk to an adult on a more personal level.
In order to get more students involved, Jespersen would like to see participation fees eliminated. With 51% of students being on free or reduced lunch, many of them can’t afford the $175 it takes to play a sport for the school.
As of recently, the day with the best attendance is Wednesday. Along with that, the worst attendance day is Friday. In order to get more kids involved, Jespersen said we need to create more opportunities. Students and teachers both are dependant to get a club up and running.
On Mondays and Thursdays, students who need help can go to after school study hall with Mr. Dylan Bartholomew, Students who go can get a free meal as well as possible bus passes.