High school students are starting a new schedule, and on Independent Learning Day, attendance is optional. Students are asked to come to school, but not required to. They are responsible for classwork and are expected to be using the time in tutoring or community service if they do not come to school.
According to Assistant Principal Casey Tate at East Lawrence High School, the day is not a day off. Students who attend will receive more intensive instruction with smaller groups. Students who do not attend will use the time to catch up on advanced level work, or job shadow.
No student will be marked absent on iLearning Day, and the decision to attend is up to students and parents.
In September, the school realized that 140 of 400 students failed one or more subjects. With 62 percent of the students receiving free or reduced price lunch, teachers realized that socioeconomic factors were contributing issues. Most of the students live in single parent or grandparent households, and the adult works. There isnt a lot of support at home, and many of the students work on Saturdays. Because they need to work on the weekends, they are not free to attend tutoring classes or extra help.
“They don’t have the parental support,” Tate said. “If they don’t have an adult making sure their homework or classwork gets done, they’re least likely to do it. They are still kids.”