Present Each Day to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism

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Present Each Day to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism

Dean Geoghan and Dean Legere

Dean Geoghan and Dean Legere

Schuyler Wetmore

Dean Geoghan and Dean Legere

Schuyler Wetmore

Schuyler Wetmore

Dean Geoghan and Dean Legere

Ranger Review Staff

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To help reduce the rate of chronic absenteeism at GHS,  physical education teacher, Heather Geoghan, and math teacher, Don Legere, were hired to take on the new role of Dean of Students.  Dean Geoghan will monitor freshman and junior attendance, and Dean Legere will monitor sophomore and senior attendance.

According to The Maine Department of Education, students are  chronically absent when they miss “more than 17 days of school or 10% of the school year.”  Greely High School had a 11% chronic absenteeism rate in 2018. Cape Elizabeth had a 4% rate, the lowest in the state.

At a September 5th school board meeting, Mr. Hoffman spoke about the need for the positions.

“We want a culture of high expectations,” Hoffman said. “We believe these positions will help us greatly with reducing our chronic absenteeism.”

Geoghan considers her new role an opportunity to help students and to be “another resource.” She also recognizes that a student’s frequent absences can negatively impact the whole classroom because students often work collaboratively.

 “People can’t learn from you when you are absent,” said Geoghan.

Legere hopes to build relationships with chronically absent students by talking to students first, seeing why they were gone, and seeing what can be done to change it. Communication, not disciplinary action, will be their first response to student absences.

Legere also acknowledges that when he was in high school, he sometimes did not want to be there.

“I hated doing homework in high school, but I realized that once I actually started doing it and showing up for class, being there was so much easier,” Legere said. 

Both agree it is important for students to attend school.

“Student attendance goes hand in hand with in school success,” said Geoghan.

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