School district to hold town hall to address low attendance

Local News

HOUTZDALE, CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ)– Moshannon Valley School district is calling on the community to attend a town hall on February 13 to discuss solutions to an attendance issue.

Due to troubling attendance records, the Moshannon Valley School District received a Targeted School Improvement designation from the state.

The designation is a first-level warning, which could result in more severe designations if issues do not improve.

Superintendent Dr. John Zesiger said last year, 16% of students missed 18 or more school days, with the highest percentage in the high school.

“Right now, just year to date, about 14% of our juniors and seniors have already missed 10% of the school year,” Zesiger said.

The school district allows 10 excused and three unexcused absences a year.

Guidance counselor Korinn Clarkson said when students exceed those days, it becomes a big concern for their education.

“It’s just really easy to get caught up in the make up work and a lot of stuff is the building blocks, you have to be present every day in order to learn the material,” Clarkson said.

When students max their unexcused absence days, the parents will be called into a meeting with the school.

If that doesn’t fix the attendance, it could be reported to the district magistrate judge and child and youth services (CYS).

In order to find ways to resolve the low attendance, the district is inviting parents to attend an upcoming town hall meeting.

“It’s a difficult one for the district to make significant changes,” Zesiger said. “It really helps to hear from the parents, the guardians and the community to make sure our attendance improves.”

District teachers and faculty, local lawmakers, the district attorney’s office and CYS will be there to join in on the discussion.

The town hall meeting will be held at Moshannon Valley High School on February 13 starting at 5:30 p.m.

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