SOME RECORDS REGARDING ABSENCES AND THEIR CAUSES IN THE LINCOLN SCHOOL OF TEACHERS COLLEGE

HOWARD H. MASON
1921 Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine  
As a part of the work of the office of school physician, a study has been made of absences and their causes. Additional data are needed and it is hoped that other schools will publish their data and methods of recording. The need for several such studies will appear to anyone who considers the length of the school year and the amount of absence. In the public schools of New York City the number of school days in a year is about 190. In private schools the number is about 165 days in the higher
more » ... days in the higher grades and about 155 days in the lower grades. With such a short school year it becomes increasingly important that each pupil shall lose as few days as possible. Health is now considered the most important element in education. Other factors being equal, the attendance record of a school is bound to reflect the health of the pupils. Furthermore, the keeping of a record of the cause of each absence brings to light the weaknesses of the individual pupils. The records have been made in the following manner. There is in the physician's office a large chart on which the names of all the pupils are listed. Opposite each name is a series of small squares, each square representing one school day. If the child is in school, this square is left blank. When the child is absent, a dash is inserted in the appropriate square. When the child returns to school a check mark is inserted in the square representing the day on which he returns. Beneath these dashes is written the cause of absence, such as ton¬ sillitis, cold, etc. The names of all the pupils in one grade are grouped together. Thus, it is a simple matter to tell how many pupils are out of school on any day and the causes. Absence records are turned in by each teacher at the end of the school day and recorded on the chart the following morning. The records of readmission are made by the physician when he passes the pupils. A pupil who has been absent for any cause has to report to the physician's office before reentering his room. The physician hears the child's story, makes what examina¬ tion he considers necessary, and if the child is in condition to return to school, gives him a readmitting slip. This method has enabled us to keep out of the school rooms many children who were still in condition to spread disease. No daily examination of the children in the class rooms has been made by the physician. If the teacher notices that any child appears Downloaded From: http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/ by a University of Michigan User on 06/16/2015
doi:10.1001/archpedi.1921.04120050071010 fatcat:gfoma6rijrfaxeo7yt3nbcw4pa