Carmela Castanedaby Carmela Castaneda
Community School Director

Attendance is the most critical part of supporting a student. The success of a student is highly dependent on whether a student shows up to class every day. The Atlantic wrote on an article about “The Economic Cost of Growing Truancy”, which states that “it doesn’t matter how good a school is if students don’t show up to class”.

In 2012, about 7.5 million students were chronically absent from schools nationwide. And, the consequences of truancy aren’t limited to a few missed lessons. There is a litany of long-term side effects that affect not just the children, but also their communities and the nation’s economic health as a whole.

Girls at Granite Park Jr. High
Girls at Granite Park Jr. High

Granite Park Junior High believes in this statement, and the culture of prioritizing attendance makes all the difference for students. Granite Park doesn’t have only one single month dedicated to attendance awareness, but instead they have a strong culture and policy in place to help work toward making sure every student shows up to class.

Kim Heppler, the Attendance Dean, emphasizes that attendance awareness is an ongoing matter that happens every day through school culture and communication with parents and students.

Granite Park stresses attendance every day of the year. We have the toughest tardy policy in the Granite School District, which results in us having the lowest tardies for the year in the district for the last eight years. We communicate with parents through the whole process and express the many reasons why lateness is important and does not just affect their child when they are late. Continued lateness results in after-school detention and making up the missed time.

Our attendance policy in regards to absences is also watched carefully. Ten years ago we only had seven out of 10 kids attending daily. The last seven years, our daily average attendance is above 91 percent for the year. Again, we accomplish this through great communication with parents. Students have seven days and then our attendance tracker sends a letter home letting parents know their child is missing too much. If the issue hasn’t been resolved, at 14 days the parent and student are required to attend a pre-court meeting. Granite Park is involved with parents and students all through the attendance process.

Granite Park Jr. High

We have a strong belief that everyday attendance is important to our students’ success.

Attendance makes all the difference in ensuring a student is academically successful. Granite Park believes that attendance awareness month and ongoing strategies, policies, and incentives throughout the school year support students in attending class on-time and every day.