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Alto Park is the top elementary in Georgia in improving attendance

We are #1 can be shouted loud and proud from the halls of Alto Park Elementary as a release from the Department of Education Monday afternoon named Alto Park the top elementary school in the state for improving student attendance over the last two years.   The state announced the top three schools in Georgia in elementary, middle, and K-12 categories.

The Department of Education is using Attendance Awareness Month to make the announcement and draw attention to the importance of attendance in academic success.  The honored schools had the largest percentage of decline in the number of students missing 15 or more days of school over the past two school years.  The schools honored were also required to have a School Climate rating of 4 or 5.

"There is no special program or initiative that is making a difference at Alto Park instead it is just great teamwork between staff, teachers, children and parents," said Angela Brock, principal at Alto Park. "Our counselor Mary Hunnicutt and our teachers have done a great job of building relationships with the parents in the community to enlist their help in making sure the children are in school."  
Counselor Mary Hunnicutt agreed, "It just comes back to building positive relationships with the parents of the children and good communication between the school and the home so that everyone is on the same page and working toward good attendance and supporting the children."

 Attendance is a major contributing factor in reaching the destination of graduation for a child.  For eighth-graders in Georgia who miss less than six days of school, the graduation rate is 80 percent or higher.  Those who miss 15 or more days have a substantially lower graduation rate of 38 percent. 
"Attendance is vital to the academic success of a child," stated Dr. John Jackson, superintendent of Floyd County Schools. "All of the key elements to success can be in the classroom, but if a child is not in attendance to learn, the resources provided to a great teacher will not be able to make the necessary impact on the development of a child."  He added, "We are very proud of Alto Park and the efforts the administration, staff and teachers are putting forth to build positive relationships with their parents and achieve this dramatic improvement in the attendance of children."  

State School Superintendent Richard Woods will recognize Alto Park Elementary and the other number-one schools in the state with a personal visit.  “Reducing chronic absenteeism has a marked impact on students’ ability to learn, achieve, and grow,” Superintendent Woods said. “The schools being recognized today are doing an excellent job improving their school climate, increasing student attendance, and working with their communities to eliminate barriers to getting to school. This is great news for students, and these schools and communities should be commended.”
The recognition of schools improving attendance rates was part of the Get Georgia Reading Campaign.  One platform of the effort is to get all children on a path to third-grade reading proficiency, the strongest predictor of high school graduation. 

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