A group of community leaders, city officials, and school principals gathered Thursday at the Moss Point School District office to figure out how to tackle the truancy problem.
MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) -
The Moss Point School District is getting some help catching students
who skip school. The school board has made truancy one of its top five
priorities this year.
On Thursday, the superintendent appealed to
the community to help make sure students show up for class. A group of
community leaders, city officials, and school principals gathered at the
Moss Point School District office to figure out how to tackle the
"I was shocked at the number of children that are not even enrolled in school," one man commented.
is a concern. If they're not here, we cannot teach them. So we lose
them anyway. And if they're not here with us, where are they?" asked Dr.
Maggie Griffin, Moss Point Schools Superintendent.
"Whether that child is in school, our job is to go out and find out why," the school board president told the group.
who came expressed their commitment to help the district reach its goal
of raising the student attendance rate from the current 93-percent to
at least 96-percent by the end of this school year.
concerned about them walking around in the middle of the day when we
know they should be in school being educated," said Rev. Larry G.
Hawkins, Sr. "We're volunteering our time and our services and our
organizations, such as our churches and our community groups, to be
available to assist the school district."
The police chief also plans to dedicate resources and manpower to track down children who should be in school.
just believe that if we get out there and we do a very hard beginning
to this, we're going to send a message to children and we're going to
get those classrooms filled back up," said Chief Keith Davis.
"If our children are in school, then we can address those issues and concerns that we have as far as academics," said Griffin.
superintendent urged those community leaders and city officials to go
out and spread the word about the district's attendance goal. That means
getting everyone involved, including parents, neighbors, and people who
are out and about during the day. After all, they are the eyes and ears
of Moss Point.
"I can't do this alone. We cannot do it as a
school district alone," said Griffin. "We just all have to work together
and combine our efforts to make it a successful effort and I think we
can do that."
The superintendent said if student attendance goes
up, that should help the district meet its two other goals: Boost the
graduation rate by five-percent and reduce the dropout rate by
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