ECHS holds town halls to address needs at school

Published 4:33 pm Tuesday, February 6, 2024

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“It takes a village to raise these kids.”

That’s what Escambia County High School Interim Principal Layton Knight said during a community town hall at the school Jan. 31.

Last Wednesday’s town hall session was the conclusion of a two-day effort to discuss topics including attendance, discipline and achievement, to name a few.

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During the Jan. 30 town hall, chronic tardiness and absenteeism, incentives for students, pastors visiting schools, school improvements and getting ready for the next school year were points of interest.

ECHS Attendance Clerk Stephanie Mosley spoke about the difference between excused and unexcused absences.

Mosley said 18 or more days of absence are considered chronic absenteeism.

“They are missing vital academic instruction,” she said.

Mosley said as of Jan. 26, the school experienced a 84.54 percent attendance rate. She added that there were 818 unexcused tardies issued for January.

Additionally, Mosley said the school set an attendance challenge with the goal being 95 percent, and to reduce tardiness by 50 percent.

She said parents can help reduce and solve the absence and tardiness issue.

“Let’s get back to being an honor school,” Mosley said.

On academics, Counselor Pamela Robertson spoke about PowerSchool Access, Schoology and other programs parents can access to monitor their children’s progress in school.

Schoology is a tool for teachers that can allow parents to see how their child is doing in class.

Additionally, Robertson said Coastal Alabama Community College is giving college classes for free for dual enrollment students.

One topic discussed during the academic portion was parental involvement.

District School Supervisor Tracy Hudson Schoology gives parents a lot of power, and asked how they can get parents signed up for the service.

On discipline, Knight said the number one thing is respect for both faculty and staff.

Knight said skipping is still an issue for students, but added that they’re fixing to eliminate the problem.

He encouraged area pastors to come to the school at 7:15 a.m. or during the lunch hours at 11:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. to speak to the kids as it goes a long way.