Decatur school cracks down on attendance - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Decatur school cracks down on attendance

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One Decatur school is working to prevent unexcused absences. One Decatur school is working to prevent unexcused absences.

This month, educators across the state will be trying to make sure students are in school.

September is National Attendance Awareness Month. Last year, Alabama schools saw 12 million unexcused absences. To cut down on those numbers locally, Decatur High School is one of ten Alabama schools taking part in a program designed to improve graduation rates.

For the second year, Decatur High School is using a $36,000 grant from Johns Hopkins University. The grant pays the attendance and promotion coach to monitor attendance for every ninth and tenth grader, which is about 500 students.

Once a student is absent three times, the coach meets with the student to find out why they're missing days and tries to correct the problem.

"Attendance is one of the main parts of getting those children plugged into school and their success of graduating school," said Decatur High's Principal Travis Schrimsher. "We feel if we can monitor their attendance and put in certain checks and balances in place for keeping them in school then we can help them be successful and graduate."

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