How SLPS is dealing with attendance problems -

How SLPS is dealing with attendance problems

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. ( -

The St. Louis Public Schools said it is taking a unique step to increase attendance at one of its high schools.

Studies indicate attendance at Sumner High School lags behind other St. Louis-area schools. SLPS Deputy Superintendent Stacy Clay said several factors are at work including the unrest in Ferguson and poverty.

“We know a lot of our young people were affected, may actually have known members of the Brown family, we know there were a lot of connections in that community to what was happening in Ferguson,” said Clay. “In terms of preventing illness that keeps young people from getting to school, poverty means there issues with having basic needs met.”

SLPS has support teams which review each student’s attendance. When there’s a problem, calls are made to parents, in-home visits are made, and administrators get referrals to help with health and other needs.

At Sumner, administrators decided to put the freshman on the school’s ground floor separating them from other students.

“We know that freshmen have more of a tendency not to be in school than seniors, because the seniors can see the light at the end of the tunnel with graduation,” Clay said.

The district feels the program has been successful and it may implement it at other schools.

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