Empty chairs at empty tables

English department co-chair Ian Altman’s classroom, room 229, is empty after school on April 11. According to principal Marie Yuran, a significant amount of first-period classrooms resemble this one as of late. “We’re not getting to school on time first period. It’s a significant difference when we look at that data, so I suspect you will hear something from us next year about working with the community and working with students and families to ensure that people are getting here and getting to school on time,” Yuran said. Photo by Valeria Garcia-Pozo.

By VALERIA GARCIA-POZO – News Editor

The lack of timely attendance to first-period classes during the 2016-17 school year may result in changes implemented during the 2017-18 school year.

According to principal Marie Yuran, recent data collected and analyzed by the administrative team at Clarke Central High School reflects a significant difference in first period attendance and attendance for the rest of the day’s classes.

“I don’t know if the attendance committee’s looked at it yet, but the GLAD time committee that’s comprised of teachers and administrators have looked at that data,” Yuran said. “Really, that drives our decision-making.”

Students like senior Byron Spraggins believe the lack of first-period attendance, particularly in upperclassmen, may be due to students’ transportation.

“I think it’s more of the upperclassmen who have cars that don’t like getting up in the morning, so they’re normally late to their first period and they’re just too lazy to get up, honestly,” Spraggins said.

Yuran agrees student transportation is a factor in getting to school on time, but believes there should be a push for heightened attendance in spite of that.

“We have people that get here various ways, right? You ride the yellow bus. You get here and hopefully, that’s on time. You drive to school or you’re dropped off at school, or you ride your bike or you walk,” Yuran said. “I think we’re gonna have to make sure all stakeholders involved including community members and parents (know) about how everybody’s late sometimes but trying to avoid that and really preparing and trying to be here on time is important.”

Spraggins believes the habit of coming to class late is one that could negatively affect students after high school.

“When we go to college, we’re gonna have early classes,” Spraggins said. “We’re gonna have nobody there getting us up, and we’ll be on our own, so I think that’s a bad effect because it’s not a good habit to be late to class.”

According to Yuran, attendance rates are important for another reason as well, and she hopes to see changes implemented in the future.

“Our school is measured on our attendance rate. If we simply made some kind of small gain in people getting here on time, we would see a significant increase in that,” Yuran said. “I asked (main office secretary Linda) Glenn to keep a sign-in sheet in the front office just for people to sign in to know when they’re arriving and why people say they’re late so that we can have another piece of data to look at over time.”

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