As the school year gets into full gear, there are bound to be particular issues that you are facing as principals. So in the November/December edition of My Two Cents, we asked readers to let us know: What work-related issue keeps you up at night?
In addition to the responses featured in Principal magazine, here’s one more:
What issue keeps me up at night? Attendance! How can we teach our children when they are not here? What can we do to change the local culture so families will understand and believe that education has real value and will pay dividends forever? Once students are in the building, we are off and running, but we can't make a difference if they are not here.
Susan Hubbard, PrincipalUp River SchoolsSleetmute, Alaska
Let us know – what specific school issue leaves you tossing and turning in the middle of the night?

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re: Sleepless Nights

Susan
I concur! Our staff brainstorms every year new incentives to dangle in front of children to get them to school. We have a committee just for attendance. We have come up with some great incentives, but one thing we found is this responsibility must be shared with our parents. If we could just get the parents to get them here, we can do the rest.

I had a parent come up to me one morning while I was greeting my early arrivals. He was a bit hesitant and a little embarrassed to tell me he had his girlfriend's daughter in the car and she wouldn't get out. He told me he did all he could to get her in the car. He asked if I would come out to the car and get her. I told him I was very grateful he brought her to school and I would get her out of the car. I did get her out, with some help, and she wasn't happy. I have been a principal for 15 years and I have had strong support from some parents and little from others. The key for me and my staff is never give up trying!