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Above:  Pictured at Wednesday’s proclamation signing are, seated from left:  ACMS student Trayton Stargel, ACPC Principal Patty Jones, District Judge Michael Loy, Director of Pupil Personnel Robbie Harmon, ACMS Principal Alma Rich, and ACMS student Lucas Murphy.  Standing, from left:  ACHS student Christian Grider, ACES student Nathan Ballou, ACES Principal Steve Burton, ACES student William Rowe, ACHS student Susan Spinks, Adair County Judge-Executive Mike Stephens, ACMS attendance clerk Roxanne Roberts, ACPC attendance clerk Pat Darnell, ACPC student Olivia Mantooth, ACHS Vice Principal Travis Gay, ACPC student Dierks Cowan, and Family Resource Center coordinator Paula Garrison. Not pictured:  Columbia Mayor Curtis Hardwick. 


September is School Attendance Awareness Month in Columbia and Adair County per a proclamation signed Wednesday by Judge-Executive Mike Stephens and Mayor Curtis Hardwick.  School administrators, staff, and other community leaders were on hand at the Adair Courthouse Annex for the proclamation’s signing, as well as a few select students who did not miss a single day of school in 2015-16.

The entire proclamation is printed below:

Proclamation of September as School Attendance Awareness Month

WHEREAS good attendance is essential to student achievement and graduation, and we are committed to dedicating our resources and attention to reducing chronic absenteeism rates, with a focus starting as early as prekindergarten and kindergarten,

WHEREAS chronic absence – missing 10-percent or more of school for any reason including excused and unexcused absences, or just two or three days a month – is a proven predictor of academic trouble and dropout rates,

WHEREAS chronic absence is now a required reporting metric under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act,

WHEREAS improving attendance and reducing chronic absence takes commitment, collaboration, and tailored approaches to particular challenges and strengths in each community,

WHEREAS chronic absence predicts lower reading proficiency, course failure, and eventual dropout,

WHEREAS the impact of chronic absence hits low-income students particularly hard if they don’t have the resources to make up for lost time in the classroom and are more likely to face systematic barriers to getting to school, such as unreliable transportation, lack of access to health care, unstable or unaffordable housing,

WHEREAS attendance gaps among groups of students often turn into achievement gaps that undermine student success,

WHEREAS chronic absence can be significantly reduced when schools, families, and communities work together to monitor and promote good attendance and address hurdles that keep children from getting to school,

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that as the Mayor of Columbia, and Judge-Executive of Adair County, we proclaim our city and county will stand with the nation in recognizing September as “Attendance Awareness Month.” We hereby commit to focusing on reducing chronic absenteeism to give all children an equitable opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive academically, emotionally, and socially.



Mayor Curtis Hardwick

Judge-Executive Michael Lee Stephens


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