The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

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By Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy
Local columnist 

Program hopes to improve attendance rates at local schools


Last updated 3/15/2022 at 4:22pm

Even though we have returned to normalcy, most would agree we are still experiencing residual effects of the pandemic. One ongoing challenge in our schools is consistency in school attendance. Students in home environments where there is little or no parental involvement or support struggled to keep up when we were all having to function virtually, and virtual attendance was a perpetual problem.

In returning to school physically, it’s remained a significant challenge to get students to attend consistently. To address this challenge, we have become more proactive and have taken additional steps to improve our attendance rates.

During the month of March, there will be radio spots with principals, Rooney Moon public service announcements on their radio channel, along with a host of activities at the school level.

Our slogan is: “Every Class, Every Day – Attendance Matters!” It is critical that students and families understand the importance of attendance. Our principals from all levels are participating, and some of the talking points include credit loss and recovery; short and long-term consequences of missing school, and many other topics. Principals are focusing on “building blocks,” which means when students miss a small lesson, they often miss a huge concept down the road. Students need to be in school to practice skills, to improve and grow new skills, whether academic skills, athletics, art, music, or other subjects.

Students need to be on campus not only to learn their academic content, but also to learn appropriate socialization skills with their peers, which can positively impact their social and emotional well-being. If anything, regular attendance is more important than ever before to ensure grade level mastery, with the opportunity to fill in knowledge and skills gaps experienced during the last 18 months.

We want parents and guardians to fully understand how crucial it is students attend school every day and on time. We encourage parents and guardians to schedule appointments outside school hours. Too many students with poor attendance are doing poorly on assessments, due to not being present for instruction.

We have many resources to help families and students overcome challenges that interfere with attendance; families are encouraged to reach out to our Language, Culture, and At-Risk Services Department at 575-769-4328.

Let’s get all our students on board with going to “Every Class, Every Day” because attendance matters greatly.

Cindy Kleyn-Kennedy is the Instructional Technology Coordinator for the Clovis Municipal Schools and can be reached at:

[email protected]


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