Usually, hallways are bustling with middle-schoolers at Honey Creek on any given week day,but late last week, attention was drawn to attendance rates dropping to an all-time low.
Not only was there a high absentee rate, but the school corporation did not report the low attendance to the health department as required.
According to the Indiana Department of Education the middle school has 767 students enrolled. On Friday, 161 students were out of the classroom.
The Vigo County School Corporation has launched an investigation into what caused the absences.
“I wish we would have know that Friday,” VCSC Superintendent Robert Haworth said. “We would have reported that on Friday, but we found out today.”
Haworth noted that such occurrences are rare.
“Since 2000, as long as I’ve been an administrator, I can think of (low attendance rates) maybe happening twice in that time span in schools that I have been in,” he said.
According to Indiana state law, schools are required to notify the local health department with absence rates over 20 percent.
However the school failed to do so, and instead, informed officials on Monday.
“We are privileged here to be able to (mark attendance) electronically, and so we should be able to know fairly early on in the school day what that attendance looks like,”Haworth said.
Haworth acknowledged that a delayed start due to the weather could have played a factor in the low numbers. But he said the school will not know for sure until an investigation is complete.
“We are looking into what broke down in our communication system and we are also investigating to see what was the cause of that 21 percent,” Haworth said. “Were they all health related or were there other issues that effected the 21 percent.”
The school is working with the Vigo County Health Department to determine what happened.