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For Your HealthBY KIM CARTER, Battle Creek Public Schools SuperintendentBold change is under- way at Battle Creek Public Schools! In the first year of the transformation, BCPS ac- complished so much. As we kick off the 2018-19 school year, we know we can do even more. One of our great- est opportunities is to im- prove student attendance. In Battle Creek and across the nation: if students are not in school, they cannot learn.This year we are rallying community support to spread the word about the impor- tance of attendance. Our ef- fort is called “Challenge 5” because we know that stu- dents who miss no more than five days of school per year have a better chance of aca- demic success.Study after study showsthat poor attendance is anearly warning indicator thatstudents will drop out of high school. In fact, missing just a few days a month can increase the likelihood students will be held back.Our ambitious goal is 100% success for every Bearcat. Absences add up, though, whether they’re excused or un- excused. So, to reach our goal, we need our students in school every day. Andif our students aren’t healthy, they are far more likely to miss school and fall behind.We’ve implemented systems of sup- port to keep students physically, socially, and emotionally healthy in school. But improving student attendance is going to take a collective effort – a partnership between BCPS teachers and staff, ourstudents and their families, and everyone in the Battle Creek community. We all have a role to play. Here are just a few ways you can help:• Talk to parents and stu-dents in your life about the links between good school attendance and future life success.• Plan doctor’s appoint- ments and family outings after school hours or on non-school days.• If you or a family you know is having trouble getting to school, contact the BCPS Office of Stu- dent Services for assis- tance: (269) 965-9482.• Proudly display a Chal- lenge 5 sign at your busi- ness or in your yard.Let’s work together to improve school attendance in our community and help all kidssucceed!The Battle Creek Community Founda-tion is proud to support Battle Creek Pub- lic Schools and the Challenge 5 initiative, encouraging students to miss no more than five days of school per year. Every day counts, so we implore you to join us in supporting Challenge 5 as well.School Attendance is the Key to Future Success269-962-2181 WWW.BCCFOUNDATION.ORGA community partnership to improve health and well-being in Calhoun CountyThe Regional Health Alliance is managed, operated and funded by the Battle Creek Community Foundation.HEALTH ISSUE I SCENE 4309 23

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