Winnipeg School Division takes action to increase student attendanceJanuary 25, 2024 News Story
In a dedicated effort to boost student attendance and help with a smoother path to graduation, Winnipeg School Division is taking proactive steps to support student success.
WSD recently announced that it is piloting no-fee lunch supervision programs as well as experimenting with late start or early dismissal times in some of its schools.
Superintendent Matt Henderson, in a letter to families, emphasized that the strategic, once-a-week schedule adjustment is designed to allow staff to engage with students and their families. The goal is to initiate meaningful discussions about the importance of school and how together we can work to make schools “sticky” places to learn and grow.
This initiative is not only about addressing attendance challenges, it's about making sure all students feel welcome and supported both academically and with their overall well-being.
"Principals and vice-principals of our high schools have been working together to make our schools sticky – creating schools that kids want to attend and where they want to stay beyond the regular school day,” says Henderson. “Our focus is on ensuring all our learners feel they belong, are known deeply by multiple adults in their school and that they can contribute to creating a powerful school community.”
WSD understands there may be many reasons a student may not be coming to school and is working with community organizations and extending support to families facing socio-economic barriers.
This initiative highlights the importance of collaboration among teachers, students, families, and the wider community to not only improving academic outcomes but also to shaping each student’s overall future.
“While schools can’t do everything, they can do some things well,” adds Henderson. “This means we must ask all the adults in our schools to focus on getting kids back to school on a regular schedule because it is critical to the lives of kids who are struggling and helps us create just and sustainable societies.”
To make up for the loss of an hour per week, June exams will be pushed back to add instructional days to the calendar which means children will receive the same amount of, if not more, instructional time.