Niles school officials encouraging good attendance, career exploration

Published: Aug. 28, 2023 at 1:36 PM EDT
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NILES, Mich. (WNDU) - Niles Community Schools was among the many school districts here in Michiana that returned to learning on Monday morning.

Even though it’s only the first day, school officials are urging everyone to take attendance seriously.

“Our students here grow phenomenally throughout the year, they do, but they have to be here,” said Superintendent Dr. Dan Applegate. “So, starting student attendance as a habit, starting early starting often, coming to school that first day, that second day, that first week. People can say, ‘Aw, you know, that’s just the first week of school.’ No, it’s very important to be there that first week of school.”

Niles High School Principal Michelle Asmus agreed.

“We like to teach our kids that regular attendance is missing no more than nine days of school for the entire year,” she said. “Easy for them to remember that — once a month — that’s regular attendance. And studies show that when you are in regular attendance, that is when you do your very best.”

This school year, the district — and particularly Niles High School — has new initiatives to help kids figure out what they want to do when they graduate.

“We’re really excited this year to offer a new cultural studies class, a coding class, we also have a drama class we will be offering, as well as a speech and multimedia presentation class, as well as an intro the health occupations,” Asmus said. “We know that that’s an area where the need is very great.”

“We want to give the kids a lot of opportunities in the career exploration stages so not just internships, not just the apprenticeship, not just the new electives and programs that we’re offering, but also a lot of clubs because what we really want to do is engage our students,” Dr. Applegate said.

Niles school officials are also open to starting new extracurricular activities based on student interest. They encourage anyone who wants to start a club to let them know.

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