August 20, 2008

Dayton School Attendance Improving Despite Transportation Issues

By Scott Elliott Staff Writer

DAYTON -- High school attendance in the city school district improved during its first week of school, but remains low overall as students make their own way to school without district-sponsored busing.

Accurate attendance figures were hard to come by, as each school's enrollment is in flux. During the first few weeks of classes, schools firm up their lists of enrolled students, deleting those who have moved or left and adding new students.

But comparing the expected enrollment of the six high schools combined against the number of students who came to school, the attendance rate for the first week of school was about 81 percent.

That percentage increased from the first day of school, when high school attendance was 77 percent. Ohio expects school attendance of 93 percent to meet the state report card standard.

School officials were not able to produce attendance figures for the first week of school last year for comparison. Interim Superintendent Kurt Stanic said Tuesday, Aug. 12, that the district will track attendance until Labor Day before considering adjustments.

In his prior work in urban districts, Stanic said, it has taken several weeks from the start of school to get firm attendance and enrollment numbers.

Busing was cut for budget reasons last summer after a levy defeat, but was restored when the city, county and Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority raised funds. This year, those entities said they could not afford to offer support.

In the past, students rode special RTA routes to school or used district-paid bus passes to ride regular RTA routes. This year, the number of buses on the RTA special routes were cut in half and students must pay for a $25 monthly pass without district aid.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2485 or [email protected]

Scott Elliott blogs about kids, schools, teaching and learning


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