BEST OF VIDEO: Principal applauds attendance policy changes

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Editor’s note: During Dallas ISD’s Winter Break, The Hub will take a look back at some of the best and most popular stories. This story was originally published on Nov. 21, 2014.

The Board of Trustees approved in last night’s meeting to increase the number of annual leave days, for all staff, from three to five. This change allows the district to shift back to the policy it once had in 2010.

Back in the classroom…

“We are tracking and really trying to look at each six weeks’, we’re doing perfect attendance,” said Onjaleke Brown.

Numbers also played a big part in that decision.

“We are tracking by grade levels, the attendance percentages for the six weeks’, so this is our second six weeks’ attendance percentages,” said Brown.

J.W. Ray Learning Center principal Onjaleke Brown talks us through the attendance data she gathers for her campus. And it’s also why last night’s board approval to add two local days of leave is important to her.

“Teachers really want to come to work, and this is something that I push really hard [for]. If you’re in the business world and you’re out, the only thing that misses you is the computer screen. But, when you’re out you have 22 eyes, sets of eyes, that are sitting there waiting on you and that need you in that room.“

The new plan will also include provisions for employees to receive compensation for unused leave days.

Superintendent Mike Miles was glad the board rallied their support behind staff.

“We heard what teachers wanted and thought it was appropriate, and especially because we’re doing so much for ours students and we’re asking everybody to step up,” Miles said.

Brown, who holds perfect attendance most years, recognizes her staff each six weeks’ in an effort to set a high bar for classroom achievement.

“They were here every single day, at school and so we do a small recognition for them just like you would do kids just to let them know that we’re watching and we are.”

Now the board voted to change that current policy during last night’s board meeting in an almost unanimous decision. But that change would not take affect until January 2015.

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