News from Dr. Cruz: Miss School, Miss Out

Sept. 9, 2014

Team AISD,

We know if our students miss school, we all miss out. Students suffer because they may fall behind academically. Teachers may have to devote additional time to help students catch up on material they missed.

According to the E3 Alliance, the typical high school in our region loses almost $20,000 every week because of absences, and students in Central Texas miss more days of school than their peers across the state in every grade.

For the past several years, our district has promoted better school attendance through our Every Day Counts campaign. And we’ve seen results.

Over the past four years, the district’s attendance rate has increased a full percentage point. For the 2013-14 school year, the attendance rate was 95.3 percent. For the new school year, our goal is to reach a district-wide attendance rate of 95.5 percent.

Over the past four years, the improvement in attendance has generated more than $5 million in state funding, which can be invested in the classroom.

Do you have ideas about how we can improve attendance in our schools? Please share them with me at superintendent@austinisd.org. I’ll review your feedback with our leadership team, so that we can all benefit from your good ideas and work!

Paul Cruz, Ph.D.
Interim Superintendent