Ozark, AL (WTVY) Students in Ozark are hoped to see a lot more of their classrooms this school year.
After continuously falling lower than state expectations for attendance, Ozark city school officials have created a new attendance challenge.
Out of 180 school days, students will be expected to miss no more than 10 days.
"It is our plan this year to impress upon parents that any day that is missed from school, is too many," said Dr. Rick McInturf, Superintendent of Ozark City Schools.
This new challenge hopes to promote a better learning environment.
"If we can establish those patterns with those very young children, the expectation to be in school every day, that pattern stays with them through middle school, where it's really tough in middle school, and especially in high school where students are making a lot more decision on their own," said McInturf.
All kinds of absences will be counted, from arriving late, to leaving early. Students are expected to be in school all day, and everyday.
"Anytime you miss anything, you are getting a little bit behind, and that just means you are constantly in catch-up mode, and that makes school harder than it has to be," said Juli Parrish, At-Risk Student Services Coordinator, Ozark City Schools.
Missing more than the 10 days can land parents and students in big trouble.
"The parents are liable if that student is not in school and can have court action against them in those cases," said McInturf.
The school board is working on a number of incentives and rewards to recognize students with perfect attendance, or students who are on track to meeting the new attendance goals.
Ozark begin classes on Friday, August 5th.