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West Virginia Board of Education Supports Strengthening Truancy Portion of State Attendance Policy

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September 11, 2014

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Board of Education (WVBE) on Wednesday placed Policy 4110- Attendance on public comment for 30 days following revisions that give county school systems more power to enforce compulsory school attendance. The changes reflect updates in House Bill 4003 and enables attendance directors to pursue truancy charges across county lines.
Nationwide, as many as one out of 10 students is chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of school days, or nearly a month.
“Chronic absence is a leading, early warning indicator of academic trouble and later dropping out of school,” said WVBE President Gayle Manchin. “The good news is that chronic absenteeism is a problem we can solve. Everyone can make a difference by helping students and families understand going to school every day and avoiding absences whenever possible is critical to achieving their hopes and dreams. Too often, we don’t realize how quickly absences add up. Missing two days a month can cause a child to fall behind.”
This month, the West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) challenged the state’s 55 county school systems to participate in Attendance Awareness Month. The WVDE Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Attendance Awareness have issued the “Make Every Day Count Call to Action.” It urges superintendents to make attendance a top priority starting in the early grades, mobilize the community around reducing chronic absence and use data to identify students and schools in need of extra support.
 
Another policy placed on comment during the September board meeting included Policy 2340 - West Virginia Measures of Academic Progress Program. Proposed changes to Policy 2340 include secure materials and test procedure requirements for district technology coordinators and Regional Educational Service Agencies/district/school technology specialists; and, expanding training requirements for personnel providing technology services and technical assistance. Changes will also reflect current naming conventions and include additional requirements to protect the security of student data.
 
Educators, parents and community members are encouraged to review the proposed changes and make suggestions. The policies can be viewed on the WVDE website at http://wvde.state.wv.us/policies.
 
For more information, contact the Office of Communications at (304) 558-2699.

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