Making sure your children are attending school is the responsibility of parents

Published 8:46 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018

This week, the Mississippi Department of Education released a report on absenteeism in the state’s public school districts and the results are both good and bad for Vicksburg schools.

The report, which centers on information for the 2016-17 school year, shows 14.2 percent of Mississippi public school students were absent 10 percent or more of the time enrolled during the school year.

For the Vicksburg Warren School District, 21.28 percent — or 1,842 of the district’s 8,657 — were absent 10 percent or more of the school year.

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The highest percentage of absenteeism in the VWSD was at Vicksburg High School, which is also the state’s highest among high schools at 62.2 percent, along with Jackson Public Schools’ Wingfield High School at 47.5 percent and Lanier High School at 45.3 percent.

At the same time, VWSD’s River City Early College High School recorded the lowest absenteeism in the state among high schools at 3.9 percent, along with Golden Triangle Early College High School at 4.1 percent in the Lowndes County School District and Simmons High School at 6.5 percent in the Hollandale School District.

Chad Shealy, superintendent of the Vicksburg Warren School District, said he has been working with Mississippi legislators to change the compulsory school age from 16 to 17 years of age, but that bill died in committee this session.

“If they are not going to help us by creating a law that requires students to be here, then they shouldn’t hold us accountable for their attendance,” Shealy said.

Shealy said the numbers are much better for this school year with VHS expected to be around 27 percent and Warren Central High School around 25 percent, which is good news, but there needs to also be some accountability on the part of parents who have children in school district.

In order for our school district to continue to improve, students must be in the classroom and that is the responsibility of parents in our community.