Showing up for school

Half of the about 700 employees in nearby Ohio County schools, in West Virginia, have perfect attendance records thus far this year, school Superintendent Kim Miller reported.

That certainly is gratifying, as she noted during a board of education meeting. “I think our employees know how important it is to be present with our students each day, just as it is important for our students to be there each day,” Miller explained.

What about the 50 percent of employees who have not been on the job every school day, however?

It appears school officials are monitoring attendance by employees more closely than in the past. We assume board members are receiving reports on the process.

This is something we hope all area school districts are doing.

It is unavoidable to miss work sometimes, of course. Illness, deaths in the family, time taken off to attend to personal matters that cannot be postponed, and other considerations can make “calling off” necessary.

But do all the employee absences fall into those categories? Or are some school staff members abusing their district’s leave policy?

If so, something needs to be done about the problem. First, it costs taxpayers money when school employees miss work. In most cases, substitutes have to be found and paid.

Second, as Miller pointed out, it is important to the quality of education for students to have the continuity of certain teachers and other staff members with them every day.

When students miss too many days of class for unacceptable reasons, school officials address the problem. The same approach needs to be taken with school employees.