School board meeting photo

At the Trousdale County School Board meeting on Thursday night, Jim B. Satterfield Middle School Principal James McCall expressed concern regarding the high absenteeism rate during the first semester.

There was an air of relief at the Trousdale County School Board meeting on Thursday night as the first semester of the 2022-23 school year reached its mid-point.

During the meeting, board members heard from school principals as they looked back at the semester’s highlights but also addressed areas of concern in moving forward.

“I think we have a big school district highlight,” said Trousdale County School Board Chairman John Kerr. “We’ve had a safe first semester ... school’s out, and everybody needs to enjoy their Christmas break.”

Trousdale County Elementary Principal Demetrice Badru added, “This first semester has flown by. We’ve had some great conversations in looking at where are students are and where we are in moving forward.”

Two major highlights for the district came in September, which included being designated as an Exemplary School District for the previous school year and the recognition of all three Trousdale County schools as Reward Schools.

“I think we have had a very successful first semester,” said Trousdale County Director of Schools Clint Satterfield. “We are making up for the learning loss caused by the pandemic as evident by all of our schools being Reward Schools in an Exemplary District in 2021-22.”

According to Satterfield, another highlight has been high-school principal Casey Kuhn joining the Trousdale County School District.

“Dr. Kuhn has successfully acclimated himself into principalship at Trousdale County High (School) while building new relationships with staff, students, and parents that will have lasting positive effects,” said Satterfield.

Although the first semester has had many best moments, attendance has been a struggle and continues to be an area of concern, especially in the elementary and middle-school grades.

“This semester, we’ve had a lot more sickness — a lot more extended absences,” said Jim B. Satterfield Middle School Principal James McCall. “Only 22 students out of 340 have been there every day.”

Badru added, “We have had no COVID calls, but it has been strep, stomach bug, upper respiratory, and tons of flu.”

As a result of the high absenteeism, the director of schools took the opportunity to remind parents and students of correlation between school attendance and student success.

“We continue to stress to families the importance of daily student attendance and the impact that attendance has on student learning going forward,” said Satterfield.

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