SHELLEY — Masks are not required for students as they go back to school tomorrow, but attendance is more important than many may realize.
Shelley students go back to school tomorrow Aug. 17, marking the beginning of the 2021/2022 school year. What some may not know is that the first 38 school days are the most important days for students to attend. At least, when it comes to funding, that is.
“School funding is based on Average Daily Attendance, or ADA,” Shelley Superintendent Chad Williams said. “The first day of school to the first Friday in November has the most weight.”
He explained that each student enrolled in the school district is equivalent to roughly $6,000 in funding. By making sure students have full attendance in those first 38 days, the school district can maximize the amount of funding they receive per student.
According to ADA guidelines, a full day is four hours of school and a half-day is two and a half hours of school for grades first through fourth. A full day for grades fifth through twelve is five periods and a half-day is three periods.
“I’m asking parents to help us out. If your kid is in first through fourth, be here at least half a day or hopefully, a full day. And grades fifth through twelve, if you’re here five periods, you can miss two periods and we still get to count you here for a full day,” Williams said.
He explained that this applies to missing school for dentist or doctor’s appointments or other normally excused absences.
“Of course we want full attendence for the whole year, but the first 38 days are the most important if you’re just basing it on cash,” Williams said.
While at school, students will not be required to wear masks.
“We didn’t require masks a year ago, and we’re not requiring masks this fall,” Williams said.
However, he said masks are encouraged.
“There wouldn’t be a mask mandate without — ultimately the school board would have to approve that,” Williams said.
He said they are excited for school to start again.
“Our technology and maintenance have been hard at work completing a lot of projects. We’ve had a lot of challenges with supply – we’re hearing because of COVID – but we’re ready to roll,” he said.
One thing he hopes parents will do this year is read with their children for at least 10 minutes a day.
“It would help us emensly. It would help us help kids improve their reading skills,” Williams said.