The attendance problem in Jessamine County is still on the agenda for district officials, though it was discovered this week that the county’s poor standing in the annual Kids Count was misreported due to a calculation error.
The Kids Count report had included a figure of chronic absenteeism for the first time. That statistic was meant to represent the percent of students who had missed 10 percent or more of the school year.
Jessamine’s chronic-absenteeism figure was reported as 44.1 percent — the fourth-highest in the state and the second-highest among county districts.
Superintendent Lu Young said her attendance team had discovered the error in the numbers that was confirmed by Kentucky Department of Education officials; Jessamine County’s rate should have been reported as close to 20 percent. District officials suspect that chronically absent students who transferred schools were counted twice in the data.
While the data correction improved Jessamine’s positioning in the state in terms of chronic absenteeism, Young said attendance is still a crucial issue as Jessamine County has ranked near the bottom in attendance in Kentucky for decades.
“The silver lining to the whole thing will be that we’ve been looking at a two-pronged attack on attendance — raising average daily attendance and reducing truancy — and now that’s a three-pronged attack — raising average daily attendance, reducing truancy and now combating chronic absenteeism,” she said.