Moshannon Valley School District talks to parents about low student attendance

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Thursday night, the Superintendent for the Moshannon Valley School District addressed how over the last school year, 16 percent of students in Kindergarten through 12th grade, missed more than 18 days of school.
Folks talked about ways to help this problem.

Richard and Shari Wharton have four kids in the Moshannon Valley School District.

They say taking their kids out of school early for things like doctor’s appointments, counts as a half day absence, but that’s not where the district is saying the issue is.

“From the meeting tonight, what we gather is, it’s not the kids that are missing 5 to 15 days-there’s a group of kids and families that are missing days in excess of thirty to sixty days,” Wharton, said.

Thursday night, John Zesiger told parents, staff and local leaders the state’s attendance average for high school is 85%.
In comparison, the Junior Senior high school had 76% attendance for the 2018-2019 school year .
Last year 139 students, K-through-12, missed more than 18 days of school.
Some students missed as many as 67 days.

“It could be everything from a breakdown in a home where, you have incarcerated parents, they’re being raised by Grandparents, or friends of neighbors,” Superintendent Zesiger, said. “Transportation is always a concern here. If a student misses the bus, maybe the parents don’t have a way to get them to school.”

If a student reaches three unexcused absences or ten total absences for any reason, the student and their parent are required to meet with district administration and the district magisterial judge.

Fines can be issued for the first offense after the meeting ranging from $10 to as much as $300.

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