You Miss School, You Miss Out

by Jessica Cervantez

August 16th was the first day of school for most students, and while most of the students made it to the first day of class, as the year progresses the number of students who skip school increases. Truancy is a problem seen at the high school level, but Lufkin High School seems to do a good job combating the problem.

Jim Welch, a juvenile probation representative, walks up and down the hallways making sure students are where they're supposed to be.

Welch said, "They need to be in class, if they're not in class they're not learning."

Welch may be one reason why Lufkin High School has such a good attendance rate.

Lufkin High School Principal Roy Knight said, "Historically, the goal the State of Texas sets for you is 95% and our goal is 96% or 97%. And we've been right at 96%, but the state average for high schools is right at 94%."

When students miss school they miss out, and if students miss school the school loses out.

Knight said, "But, for us, on any given day, if we have 100 kids out of class, that's 5%, that is $2,500 in lost revenue for our school district, just for the high school alone. And that revenue takes care of our teachers and supplies."

Principal Knight says they see most truancy out of the younger classmen.

Knight said, "They are less mature, we have to exercise every tool to help keep them on track."

While overall Lufkin High School has a good attendance rate, they do have students who skip school.

Welch said, "We do a lot of telephone calling and send letters home."

Welch says when kids are in class learning that means their off the streets getting into trouble.