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Omaha students are skipping schools; Burke High School tries to improve attendance with a new interesting event

OMAHA, Nebraska – It is a problem all around the country, including in the metro area of Omaha. Students are not showing up for class.

Burke High School is implementing a novel policy this fall with the intention of boosting student attendance. If a student has accumulated an excessive number of unexcused absences, they will be barred from attending the homecoming dance in October.

The son of Tammy Nelson is currently a senior at Burke High School.

“He’ll come up to me and ask, ‘Mom, is it possible for me to spend the afternoon at home?’ And to that, I reply, “not even close!” “Oh my my, there are so many kids that are missing out on so much,” Nelson added. “And he’ll say it.”

The officials of Omaha Public Schools are in agreement.

Lisa Utterback, the Chief Officer of Student and Community Services, mentioned that “we definitely battle with unexcused absences” in her statement.

The OPS school statistics book reveals that for the 2020-2021 school year, 62 percent of Burke pupils were either chronically absent or at risk for missing school.

Because that year marked the beginning of the COVID pandemic, it stood out as an unusual occurrence. Educators maintain, despite this, that the issue was present long before that and is still ongoing.

I believe that school districts all around the country have been dealing with the issue of chronic absenteeism for a considerable amount of time. I believe that the epidemic made the problems that we were already having with absenteeism much worse.

Burke High School is implementing a novel strategy in an effort to assist in mitigating the effects of the issue.

Attendance to the homecoming dance on October 8 will be denied to students who have accumulated three or more unexcused absences prior to that day.

Absences from school that are not justified include those in which the student does not provide an explanation or notice for their absence, in which no one is able to verify the student’s whereabouts, or in which the student misses school for a cause that is not acceptable.

Illness, a death in the family, a court appearance, or even difficulties getting to work due to transportation issues are all acceptable reasons for an excused absence.

According to Nelson’s forecast, the new attendance rules would most likely result in a low turnout for the homecoming dance that will take place this year.

“I have no idea how many children are truly planning to attend this homecoming,” the narrator said.

In any case, Nelson is on board with the new recommendations.

“OPS needs to establish a new standard. Where are you spending your time when you’re not in class? What are you up to out there all by yourself? And the possibility that it is harmful material worries me.

OPS initiated a campaign in 2018 called Strive for 95, with the goal of encouraging kids to attend school 95% of the time, which equates to missing nine days or fewer during the course of the school year.

The number of attendees increased in 2019, but then dramatically decreased in 2020.

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