Call it a day of confusion, at least for roughly two out of every 10 public school students in Hillsborough County.
While schools were back in session Jan. 2, only 82.35 percent of the overall student body showed up, with several factors likely to have contributed to the high number of absences.
That’s the word from the Hillsborough County School District, which noted in a news release Jan. 2 just what those reasons might be:
- That many county offices and private businesses were closed in observance of New Year’s Day,
- That attendance typically is lower on Mondays, and
- That attendance typically is lower on the day that students return to classes after a long holiday break.
Also noted was that “the Tampa Tribune mistakenly reported on Sunday [Jan. 1] that schools would be closed on Sunday.”
That mistake, the district reports, “was corrected on the front page of the Tribune today [Jan. 2].”
The 82.35 percent figure reportedly was based on preliminary attendance figures.
By way of comparison, district officials noted that when students returned to school on Jan. 3, 2011, the first day after the 2010-11 winter break, attendance was at 90.7 percent.
For the record, we’ll add one more reason for the likely confusion: Jan. 2 was a public holiday for federal employees.
Even the post offices were closed, but not Hillsborough County, the nation's eighth-largest school district, and the third largest in Florida.