Alice ISD holds Attendance Matters press conference in hopes to keep student attendance rates up

By Sarah Reyna

Alice ISD held an Attendance Matters press conference Friday, Sept. 15, to discuss a critical issue that impacts the heart of the community: education. 

“Today we proudly represent a united effort by the Alice Independent School District in collaboration with the City of Alice Police Department, the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Department and the JWC Juvenile Probation Office, all standing shoulder to shoulder to champion a cause we hold dear: promoting attendance,” Alice ISD Superintendent Dr. Anysia Trevino said. “Our message is clear, simple and resounding— attendance matters and it starts with me.”

Law enforcement officials will be aiding the school district in their attempts to bring up attendance.

“What we’d like to do as a city and Police Department is go to your homes. We want to know those kids that are absent, team up with our school and send officers to their homes to see how we can help,” Alice Police Department Chief Eden Garcia said. “Maybe there is a problem and your child doesn’t want to go to school, but you, as a parent, may not know who to contact. And you know what? We’re going to bring the message to you to your home.”

According to Texas Education Agency, a significant amount of research has demonstrated the relationship between student attendance and student achievement. Students missing fewer than 10% (18 days) of their school year achieve better academic results and a host of other positive outcomes. Economically disadvantaged students are more likely to be chronically absent and have the most academic ground to lose when they miss more than 10% of their school year.

“[Education] is the corner stone upon which our children build their future. But it’s not just about our students; it’s about the strength and prosperity of an entire community,” Trevino said.  

Last school year, Alice ISD recorded a daily attendance of 89.41%, which equates to an average of 479 students who were absent on a daily basis. 

“This is not only impacting the funding of our school district, but more importantly, it means that hundreds of our students are missing out on valuable instruction and learning opportunities,” Trevino said. “We will go to great lengths—even students’ homes—to bring them back to school.”

So far this year, the district is witnessing improvement of student attendance. While each week does fluctuate, the attendance percentage has been around 92, 93 and 94%, according to Dr. Trevino.  

“Together we can build a stronger future for Alice, and it starts with our unwavering commitment to the message: it starts with me. Attendance matters.”