Birmingham City Schools see growing attendance after low turnout the first few days

23% of Birmingham City Schools students not in class on first day
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 5:16 AM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - After seeing low turnouts for the first two days of classes, Birmingham City School leaders said student attendance is growing, but it’s still not at full capacity.

Birmingham City Schools are supposed to have around 20,000 to 21,000 students registered, but thousands, about 23%, didn’t show up on the first day. There are still of students missing from their seats as of Wednesday, August 10th.

“We’ve seen enrollment increase after the first day,” Superintendent Dr. Mark Sullivan said. “On the first day of school, we had about 13,000 students and then yesterday, we had about 15,000. We predict we will have another 2,000 today until the trend holds and we get to the 20 to 21,000 students.”

Sullivan said this is a trend they see every year and it’s because many parents are working.

“Last year, we had 13,600 students show up on the first day,” Sullivan said. “This year we had 13,100, so it is pretty consistent. We have seen this trend over the last few years.”

But, Sullivan said he doesn’t want there to be any barriers preventing parents from brining their kids to school.

“If you need school supplies and that is the reason why you haven’t shown up on the first day of school, then don’t worry about that, because we have supplies for you.”

He said students are automatically enrolled already, but registration helps parents update their contact information and helps the district prepare.

“If we know we have X number of students attending this particular school, we can make sure that the resources for those students are available,” Sullivan said. “Making sure they have the technology they need and making sure teachers are assigned to the school that has the largest population.”

Sullivan said schools need full enrollment by mid fall to get the proper state funding for the district, but many teachers go straight into instruction, so some students are likely already falling behind.

“When we talk about a school year, it’s not 365 days,” he said. “It’s only 180 days and each one of those days matters.”

Dr. Sullivan said they are hoping for all students to be registered and in classes by the end of the week. He said it’s a quick process that can be done on your phone or within a few minutes at school drop off.

You can find a link to that registration form by clicking here.

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