What you need to know about Count Day

Count Day and its importance is explained in a simple and understandable way

Students+are+counted+on+the+October+Count+through+careful+attendance+to+ensure+that+the+school+has+the+funding+they+need+to+provide+a+successful+educational+experience+for+them.

AIden Owen

Students are counted on the October Count through careful attendance to ensure that the school has the funding they need to provide a successful educational experience for them.

Count Day (separately known as the “October Count”) is a statewide mandate that usually falls on October 1. It helps the district know how many students are in a school so that they can receive the funding they need to maintain the building and the educational content. If October 1 happens to land on a holiday or weekend, Count Day is moved to the soonest possible day on which students will be in school.

According to the Colorado Sun, “A district’s student count is the primary factor in determining how much state funding they receive.” The funds given to each separate district, including SVVSD, help the school offer their students the resources they need. This funding goes directly to the school district and is used to pay for different things that help the student feel comfortable and be as successful as possible in school. These things include, but are not limited to, programming for the student’s specific courses and athletics, heating and air conditioning costs for the overhead temperature systems, transportation costs (ie. bus rides), and the salaries of each of their teachers.

For Mead specifically, there is a funding of “approximately $7500… per student”, as said by MHS Assistant Principal Mr. Alain Valette.

Keep in mind that this funding can vary depending on the state.

Count Day takes into account not only the exact number of students in a school but also a little bit about the students in relation to their specific needs. For example, how many students are in language classes, technology classes, art classes, etc.? And how many need specific supplies for those courses? Knowing the answers to these questions can help a district give the proper funding that a school will need for teachers, materials, and much more during the school year.

But what do students need to do differently on Count Day? Should they show up earlier or later to the school building? Should they bring anything extra to class? In answer to this question, Mr. Valette said, “The October Count does not affect students in any way. They should continue through their day as they would [normally do].”

Teachers are not drastically affected by Count Day as well. The only thing instructors need to keep in mind is that it is crucial to take very accurate attendance on that day. This is to make sure all attending students are properly counted.

If a student attends school for the entirety of the instructional time, they are counted as a total one student. If they do not attend for the entirety of the day, they could be counted if the following criteria apply to them:

1. The student had attended school on an earlier date within that school year (in this case the 2020-2021 school year)

2. The student attends within a 30 day window after the official Count Day

If both of these criterias are met, the person is counted as one total student.

It is always important that students are showing up for school, but if you only choose to come for a singular day, make sure to come on Count Day! That way you can know the school has set aside funding specifically for your educational needs.

Schools help encourage students to attend class on Count Day through many different ways. Public School Review mentions that in some Detroit elementary schools, they throw parties for the students as a way to guarantee higher attendance that day.

As for Mead, we make sure to inform everyone when Count Day is through different methods and tactics.

“Parents are encouraged to make sure their students are in school on Count Day through emails, phone calls, and the weekly principal’s newsletter,” said Mr. Valette.

Happy Count Day 2020, everyone!