MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Every day out of school is a day of missed opportunities to learn, but it adds up to more than that:

That’s Berkeley County Schools Director of Attendance Hal VanMetre. He acknowledges that a lot of advice to families during COVID outbreaks was to stay home, they’re hoping for more regular attendance as the school system returns to normal.

September is Attendance Awareness Month, and the school system is encouraging students to “strive for less than five” absences in the school year.

Berkeley County Schools says they’ve committed to “focusing on reducing chronic absenteeism to give all children an equitable opportunity to learn, grow and thrive academically, emotional and socially.”

A chronically absent student is less likely to read on grade level by 3rd & more likely to fail or drop out, according to information from the school system.