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Attendance Counts

Message from Board President Patsy Mendoza - Aug. 4

Posted on 08/04/2023

Dear Canutillo Community,

What a week we had in Canutillo ISD!

This Monday, our schools opened their doors for the 2023-24 school year and we were happy to welcome back the 6,000 students who make up this amazing community. Although it has been a while since I dropped off any of my kids in school for the first day of classes, I was able to follow the festivities at each of our campuses thanks to the hundreds of posts on social media shared by friends, family and our very own schools. I felt like I was there celebrating with all of you!

I was happy to learn that our attendance and enrollment this first week of school was above last year’s averages. Unfortunately, the District (just like most districts in Texas) has been suffering from higher-than-normal absenteeism and lower enrollment following the pandemic-related closures of schools. Last year, our attendance rate remained in the mid to low 90s, when we needed it in the high 90s in order to guarantee that our students are getting the instruction they need to be successful. The higher attendance rate we’re seeing right now is a hopeful sign that things are returning to normal and that our students and families are ready to tackle this school year.

Attendance and enrollment in our District will remain a priority for the Board of Trustees. Of course, we do this because we strongly believe that every day of instruction is important. But we also do it because we know that in order to secure the appropriate funding from the state of Texas, we need students to show up to school. Texas’ complicated school funding formula is not based on how many students are enrolled in a school, but rather on how many students actually show up to school on a daily average. The Average Daily Attendance formula is a critical figure for school districts like ours because we rely on appropriate funding from the state in order to pay teacher salaries, create student programming and pay the bills to keep our buildings open.

When Canutillo and the rest of the country shut down campuses because of the dangers of the pandemic, we asked parents to keep their children at home in order to keep them safe. That was the right thing to do at that time. The pandemic forced us all to develop a heightened sense of safety for our children in an effort to keep them safe from harm. That, in turn, has resulted in a willingness by parents to keep their children at home more often, even when their children may not be too sick to attend school.

We are asking parents to remain vigilant about their children’s health, but to also be mindful about their learning. We need kids in school so that our teachers can do what they do best: prepare them for the future. If your child is healthy, please send them to school. Our schools provide a safe, healthy environment for them to thrive. Don’t hesitate.

I am looking forward to a wonderful school year. Thank you, CISD teachers and staff, for a wonderful start to the school year. Let’s get going on proving why we are El Paso’s only Triple A Rated school district!

¡Un fuerte abrazo!

Patricia Mendoza
Canutillo ISD Board of Trustees