Do you ever wonder what makes parents think that moving their children in and out of a school mid year is a good idea? Now, I realize that many moves must happen and are simply no one's fault - parents lose their jobs, get evicted, get divorced, etc., but the impact on their child's education is unbelievable. The school I'm at has a pretty high rate of students moving in and moving out. I would bet that over 75% of our classrooms do not have the same class list now that they did at the beginning of the year. Who loses in these situations? The kids of course. What is taught in one district, may not be taught in another. Maybe something taught at the beginning of the year in one district will be taught again to the student who moved in another district later in the year, resulting in the same material being taught twice. The opposite of this is also probably true. Students are missing valuable instruction in some areas because of the timing of the lessons. Throw all of this high stakes testing into the mix and these children are at a disadvantage.

A recent article discusses the need for a national student tracking system. This isn't a bad idea. I certainly know that when we get new students at our school, our secretaries don't get records from the previous schools in a timely manner, if at all. How can we find out the needs of the children without that information? This national tracking system could help. Having this system online would be great. Sure, there are many obstacles in the way of making this actually happen - one being money. Who's going to pay for it?

Our elementary school, with a population of about 400 students, has had way too many students moving in and out during the school year. We have a family that left our school about a month ago and are starting back tomorrow. What's going on? By an estimate from our secretary, the number of students who have moved in or out is at least 75 - and it's only the beginning of March! That number will probably be 100 by year's end. That's amazing to me. You know as well as I do that these are the kinds of kids who need stability in their lives. We make connections with these kids and they make the connection with us. Just when we are starting to make progress, they move. Mrs. Whatsit certainly feels the same way. I have no idea how to solve this problem, but something needs to be done.

4 comments

  1. ms. whatsit // March 5, 2007 at 8:04 AM  

    I think this is a huge problem, because it's these kids who are the ones who really get left behind.

    A thought crossed my mind while reading this. You know, it isn't so hard for grocery stores to track consumers (I'm thinking of those cards you use to get the discount). It shouldn't be so hard to track kids either, except that it does blur the line regarding civil rights and privacy. Most importantly, I am afraid that the kids who need the monitoring the most would still fall through the cracks.

    This is definitely a critical issue in education.

  2. IMC Guy // March 5, 2007 at 5:37 PM  

    Even today, we had 3 new students start, notification of a new sixth grader who will start later this week, and a family of 4 who we can't find. Apparently, they were evicted over the weekend. They didn't show up for school today and since their phones are disconnected and cell phones don't work, we can't find them.

  3. ms. whatsit // March 7, 2007 at 6:50 PM  

    Some kids have so much garbage to contend with it's no wonder they struggle with school. It's sad and wrong!

  4. happychyck // March 8, 2007 at 7:04 PM  

    A tracking system is a great idea! I wonder how it would work exactly, though. Many of the students and families at our school are good at getting lost. There are also times of the year when quite of few of them go to Mexico for extended periods of time--a national tracking system would do no good there!

    ms. whatsit is right, though. Those are the kids who really get left behind!

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