WHEREAS, now, more than ever before, good attendance in school is essential to student achievement and progress toward graduation; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional barriers to student participation in school; and

WHEREAS, chronic absence – missing 10 percent, two or three days a month, or more – is a proven predictor of academic trouble and dropout rates, and weakens our communities and local economy; and

WHEREAS, all students, even those who show up regularly, are affected by chronic absence because teachers must spend time reviewing for students who missed lessons; and

WHEREAS, student absenteeism can be significantly reduced when schools, parents, and communities work together to monitor and promote good attendance and address hurdles that keep children from participating in school;

 NOW, THEREFORE, I, Brent Gerry, Mayor of the City of West Richland, do hereby proclaim September 2020 to be

 Attendance Awareness Month

 In the City of West Richland and I encourage all people in our city to join me in this special observance. We also encourage all members of our community to focus on reducing absenteeism to give all children an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.