MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. -- Marshall County Schools leaders are seeing an improvement in attendance, which was an issue last year. Superintendent Cindy Wigley says they're hopeful the increased numbers of kids in class will have a positive impact on the system's overall summary grade next year.
This school year Marshall County Schools leaders put a strong focus on attendance. They're working with parents as partners to get kids in class and made changes - like built-in half days for necessities like pre-planned doctor and dentist appointments.
It made a difference.
"Our efforts are really paying off. This last semester we're down 3,500 absences, so that's 3,500 more days that students are in school," Wigley said.
Wigley said that translates across the board.
When summary letter grades for Alabama school systems came out recently, Marshall County Schools improved from a C to a B. The most improved school in the Marshall County Schools system was Brindlee Mountain Elementary - which went from a D to a B.
That's for last school year, so that's despite those low attendance rates.
"It's a direct result of the staff and their hard work and parents again, partnering with us, to improve student opportunities," Wigley said.
She added they hope the improved attendance this year will further increase the system's overall grade.
"Even though attendance is 10 percent of our report card grade, it really affects everything on our report card, because if students aren't at school they can't learn," Wigley said.
Kids head back to class on Monday.