GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The first Student Count Day of the school year is taking place Wednesday and attendance this year carries more weight than most days.
Student Count Day is when all Michigan public schools record the number of students attending their various schools in order to get the maximum amount of school funding.
This year Student Count Day falls on Wednesday, Oct. 6, and will happen again in February.
October accounts for 90% of funding for the schools and February accounts for the remaining 10%.
Last year the state provided some allowances because of the pandemic, but this year students are expected to be at school in person or call in for an excused absence.
Grand Rapid's Superintendent Doctor Leadriane Roby says the state funding supports crucial programs, staffing and more for the school.
"It's part of the School Aid Foundation Allowance," said Roby. "It impacts the curriculum offerings, program pieces, extracurricular, extended learning, acceleration of experiences that students get. It also helps remedial support, it helps with class sizes, and to make sure that we have the appropriate staffing for our students."
The funding also goes toward programming for students' at-home learning, including the devices they use.
Students must attend classes and, if they are staying home sick, should call their schools for an excused absence.
"When people don't take it as seriously, it does impact the local schools over time, and we want to make sure that we're able to offer our students the very, very best," said Roby.