Return to Headlines

High school students share feedback with Superintendent

High school students share feedback with Superintendent 

Superintendent's Student Advisory Council program Nearly 100 students representing every high school met with Superintendent Dr. Alicia Thompson to share their opinions on attendance and absenteeism. A student is considered chronically absent if they miss 10 percent or more of school for both excused and unexcused reasons. 

“It’s important that we listen to our students because what they say matters,” Dr. Thompson said. “If we want our students to be Future Ready, they need to be in school. We want to learn from our students the reasons why some of their peers may not want to come to school and what we can do to change it.”

 The students met in small groups and shared their thoughts on the factors that keep students out of class, whether for excused reasons or unexcused reasons, and gave suggestions to improve student attendance. Some of the items students shared included transportation, peer pressure, relationships with teachers and whether or not content in the class is engaging. 

The feedback will be compiled into a report that will be shared with the high school principals and the Board of Education. 

North High senior Aaron Doell acknowledges that students can have a variety of reasons why they miss school, but for him, attending school has always been a priority. 

“Whatever the solution is to fixing to attendance, it has to be caught early,” said Doell. “For me it’s been driven into me since kindergarten that missing school isn’t an option. It never crosses my mind to miss school just for the heck of it.” 

Southeast High School senior Micah Jacques appreciated the focus on attendance because he sees the issue every day at his high school. 

“It think attendance is a very important topic and I see it being an issue in every school especially the one I go to,” said Jacques. “I see my peers missing class and I believe it’s an important issue that needs to be addressed. If you’re not coming to school it’s likely you’re not passing classes you’ll need to get to the next level.” 

The students involved in the Superintendent Dialogue Session are members of the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council (SuperSAC) and other students invited to participate. Many of the suggestions from previous dialogue sessions have shaped district policies and created programs now being used in the district’s high schools.

 The Student Dialogue Session was sponsored by Butler Community College.