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DeKalb County School District

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Important School Safety Letter From Director of Schools Patrick Cripps.



February 27, 2018

Dear students, families, employees and citizens of DeKalb County,

The DeKalb County School System would like to remind all families of DeKalb County that the safety of our students is of the utmost concern and we are asking for your help in to ensure all students remain safe .

We know that emotions are running high and any rumor about potential violence can be of great concern for parents and students. While we expect students to report any threats they may hear about, please remind your children that repeating rumors to their classmates that are unverified does nothing but create unnecessary panic and stress. Any and all concerns about possible threats should bereported to an adult, and not shared between students. Sharing of unfounded threats continues to create a great deal of anxiety among students and parents.

Please know the safety of our students and staff members is our top priority. We will continue to investigate any reports that are made and will keep our local law enforcement agencies involved as well. If any threat is deemed credible at any time, we will immediately take action to protect our students and staff members. DeKalb County schools, along with other districts in Tennessee and across the country, are being inundated with reports of potential safety concerns . As we move through this time of heightened concern and distress with regard to school safety, it is important to remember that the overwhelming majority of students,staff and their families in every school in the country want their schools to be safe places where teaching and learning take place. We call upon every person in DeKalb County to help our students feel safe and cared for by reporting concerns promptly, not sharing misinformation, and by taking the time to build supportive relationships with one another.

Thank you for trusting us to keep your students safe.

Director of Schools, Patrick Cripps

 Director's Signature


 110 South Public Square· Smithville, TN   37166 • (615) 597-4084 ·Fax (615) 597-6326 ·










Children's Reading Foundation









Cronic absense 18 or more days. Warning at 10 to 17 days. Below 9 days good attendance.



Dear Parent/Guardian,


                    We need your help with an important goal for DeKalb County Schools this year. We want to ensure that every student attends school every day.


Attending school regularly has a significant, positive impact on your child’s academic success—from kindergarten through high school. Even as he or she grows older and more independent, you play a key role in making sure your child gets to school safely and on time every day. For context, most students in Tennessee miss six or less days each school year.


We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. But, we also know that when students miss too much school—regardless of the reason—it can cause them to fall behind academically. Absences can add up quickly. Students are less likely to succeed academically if they miss 10% or more of instructional days over the course of the school year (this means missing about two days of school per month or about 18 days per year).

Research shows:  


·         Tennessee students who are chronically absent in kindergarten are 15 percentage points less likely to reach proficiency in either 3rd grade math or ELA.

·         Nationally, four out of five students who miss more than 10% of both kindergarten and first grade are unable to read on grade-level by third grade.

·         The problem continues as students get older. Tennessee students who are chronically absent in 9th grade are 30 percentage points less likely to earn an 
on-time diploma (62% vs. 92%).


We don’t want your child to fall behind in school or get discouraged. Please ensure that your child attends school every day and arrives on time. Attached are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance.


We want your child to be successful in school. Let us know how we can best support you and your child so that he or she shows up for school on time every day. If you have any questions or need more information, please contact your child’s teacher, principal, or school counselor.


Attendance Pointers for Parents



  • Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine.


  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.


  • Make sure your children go to school every day unless they are truly sick.


  • Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.


  • Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.


  • Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school or show other signs of not wanting to go to school.


For more information, contact your child’s teacher or check out the parent resources available at  


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