Matt Grose, Chair of the Itasca Area Schools Collaborative, Superintendent of Deer River schools and long-time Student Success Core Team member penned this commentary.

“Eighty percent of life is showing up.” – Woody Allen

Matt Grose

Matt Grose

As educators, we believe that school success starts with just that – showing up. Numerous research studies back up that belief, noting that children who attend school regularly are more likely to not only get better grades, but also are more likely to graduate on time, be healthier, and be more socially engaged.

Our world is a different place than when we as adults grew up. Our children live in a fast-paced changing world, impacted by technology, globalization, and increased accountability. They compete with students from around the world for education and job opportunities, and many of the students in other countries have school years that are longer than those in the U.S., in some cases by as many as 40 days. Missing school not only deprives a learner of what happened in school that day, but creates a wider gap between their experience and the experience of the children they are going to compete against and be compared to.

Schools and teachers have worked hard to adjust to the changing times and make school as relevant and interesting as possible, incorporating real-life projects and technology that engage students. We think it is really important to balance accountability with strong support systems for students that are struggling, and stand ready to help children that are running into challenges in school.

Parents and other adults in our community can have a huge impact on the success of students in school, and that that commitment starts with making sure that children are in school every day. Adults, you set the tone and create the attitude that your children will have towards school – children will follow your lead. Please partner with educators by making it clear that in your home and in your community education is valued, and back that message up by ensuring children are in school, every day.

We consider it an honor to work with the children of our community and are appreciative of all the support we have received for our Attendance Matters! campaign. Please look for ways to contribute to this important effort and ensure the continued tradition of excellence in our region!

Positively and on behalf of all districts in the Itasca Area,

Matt Grose
Chair, Itasca Area Schools Collaborative