The Quad Cities United Way and eight school districts are working together to make attendance a top priority. Today at Virgil Grissom Elementary School in Princeton, they kicked off an initiative called, "Strive for Less than 5." The goal is for all students not to miss more than five days of school this year.
Pleasant Valley School District Superintendent, Dr. Jim Spelhaug, says research shows attendance is critical for students to learn and succeed in school. "A stunning number of Quad Cities students miss more than 18 days of school. And there's too much of a mindset that it's only one or two days per month. Does that seem like a lot? Well, it really is. Cumulatively, it's a very high level of school days to miss."
And Spelhaug says the skills students need to be in school every day will help them become excellent employees.
The eight school districts and United Way challenged all Quad Cities schools to have 100% attendance today. On average, 4,500 local students are absent from school each day. And by midday today, only about half that many were absent. That means total attendance was 95.5%, nearly the same as last year's rate of 96.1%.
The Arconic Foundation is also partner in the "Strive for Less than 5" initiative.