October 3, 2018
Hello Centerville Families,
I am very excited to highlight the improvement we have had on our MCAS results. We exceeded expectations in almost all categories. Our staff continues to work towards improving our results with the implementation of new curriculum in Mathematics and in English Language Arts. There is one category in which we did not earn any points in the school report card, attendance. We earned zero points in this category, so I am asking for your help, especially with the implementation of the new curriculum.
The math units that we are implementing are NOT worksheet based. They are context based, which means students are presented with a problem in which they work collaboratively to find a solution. If they are not here, this cannot be replicated at home or through a worksheet. We are holding math congresses in which children come together, share their strategies, and learn from each other. Because these problems should be challenging, the experience of struggling through the problem together, is an important part of preparing them for the expectations in the grades above and more importantly, preparing them for jobs in the future in which collaborative problem solving is a much needed skill.
We have a very high volume of families that are taking extended vacations during the school year as well as a high volume of families that are not sending their child to school on half days. The state sees no difference between an excused absence and an unexcused absence, because with every absence, your child is missing part of their instructional time. Please, if at all possible, refrain from taking your child out of school when we are in session. This includes dismissals during the day for appointments. As a parent, I know the difficulty of scheduling appointments for my children, and I understand there are times when there is no flexibility, but if at all possible, please try and make your child’s appointments outside of school hours.
We will be reviewing attendance and sending attendance letters home on a weekly basis, and scheduling appointments if we see a high volume of absences. Please help us, help your child receive the instruction in the curriculum that our staff is working hard to provide them.
We have sent home some information about the effects of chronic absenteeism for your review.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.