The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Dayton Seniors Are Preparing for Graduation

School board also hears reports on truancy, parent survey results and and athletics updates


DAYTON—The Dayton School Board met last week and received updates on a wide range of topics.

Kristine Warren, who is the graduation counselor for Dayton High School, talked to the board about the work she is doing to prepare students for graduation.

She said student graduation requirements are being met, and that she has been busy helping with scholarship applications, test applications, career counseling, and keeping track of community services reporting.

“The kids are on track for graduation,” Warren told the directors. She said the transcripts are accurate, and she is feeling good about that.

Warren brought three students, who have participated in the Yamate High School exchange program, with her to the meeting, and they talked about their experiences in Japan. The exchange takes place every three years, and the next exchange will be in 2019, she said.

Superintendent Doug Johnson told the board that he has reviewed state-based data about chronic school absenteeism and that the rate is 6-7% higher than most schools in the region. He said the data makes no distinction between unexcused and excused absences. School-related absences, such as attendance in extracurricular activities such as Knowledge Bowl are recorded the same way as being absent for any other reason.

“The district is aware of student attendance and has taken steps previously to reduce chronic absenteeism that negatively impacts a student’s ability to find success in school,” said Johnson.

Johnson said a community truancy board has been implemented, and the district will continue to seek strategies for sharing the importance of school attendance and achievement with students and parents.

An anonymous electronic survey asking for information from parents in the district whose children are attending schools other than Dayton has had only four responses. Thirty were sent out. Follow-up postcards and phone calls will be made to get a stronger response. The information is important to help the district better programs and practices, Johnson said.

Seventeen middle school boys and girls are signed up for baseball and softball. Johnson said the combined sports programs with Waitsburg have been “a good thing” and that the transportation provided by Columbia County Public Transportation is working very well.

“The adults are interested in mascots and colors,” Johnson told the directors. “The kids just want to play.”

Johnson also expressed gratitude for the classified employees who were celebrated last week with gift boxes and thank-you cards. Six employees received a gift card for a 30-minute massage at a drawing that was held in their honor, he said.


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