I have a second-grade music student named Vicente. His class comes to music only once or twice per week. I have marked him absent eleven
times so far this year and don’t even really remember what he looks like. This past week his classmates all told me he moved. When I sought to confirm this with the office, they told me, “No, he’s still enrolled.” Which habit is this student building? How will it affect the rest of his life?
Our school is taking concrete steps to impact this situation across our student body. Our principal, Amanda Voorhees, along with a former principal in our district, Stacey Drake, collaborated in creating our FEWER THAN FIVE program. Having attended Harvard Graduate School of Education School Turnaround Leaders, they committed to addressing the problem of chronic absenteeism in our schools. According to Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, “Many communities, school boards, and families are simply not aware of the negative impacts of absences on students’ education.”
The Yakima School District is a Drug Free, Weapons Free, Tobacco Free district. Yakima School District encourages workforce diversity and complies with all state and federal laws prohibiting unlawful discrimination.