two teens heartMurray City School District believes in the power of community – we are Murray isn’t just a catchphrase. It’s a belief that everyone belongs at Murray. Everyone deserves a friendly welcome, friendly spaces, and a friendly feeling that they can succeed here. We have instructed our teachers to embody those ideals this year, and we hope parents will sense it and help us encourage it.  

Beyond classroom learning and connections with administrators and staff, these three simple resources are key to a successful school experience. We have learned over the years that chronic absenteeism (just 18 days per year) deprives students of these free resources and supports that sometimes make all the difference for a child.

Guidance Counseling

Like all schools, MCSD has trained professionals on staff who can give students specific information and direction to help them thrive academically. Navigating school requirements is tricky, add to that planning for post-high school, and it can be overwhelming. 

All students deserve a knowledgeable, go-to professional counselor who can help them sort it all out, set goals, and cheer them on. These intentional decisions and informed planning can help parents and students save thousands of dollars and countless hours down the road. But it’s only possible when students attend regularly.

Social and Emotional Resources

School is not just about academics; kids come from all different backgrounds and situations. We are happy to report that most Murray families, while not perfect, provide a stable home life that nurtures and encourages growth. 

Unfortunately, some families are struggling with serious issues of addiction, abuse, and a myriad of other instabilities – often, it’s a combination of multiple problems. However, MCSD also has a small army of licensed social workers, psychologists, healthcare providers, special education practitioners, and behavior specialists who are available to intervene and help kids sort out and manage all kinds of challenges – even in crisis moments.

We are here to help students experiencing issues with anxiety, depression, suicide ideation, bullying, and much more. Getting kids beyond those issues is what we mean by social and emotional learning – it’s learning that transcends academics and prepares them for life.

We think big picture and intergenerational when considering these challenges. Without this critical support provided through regular attendance, the chances of necessary bigger and lengthier interventions later in life grow exponentially. This is not healthy for society as a whole, as we all eventually bear burdens associated with these issues at some point. We believe it’s far better to help children learn to manage and navigate social and emotional learning while they are young, improving their odds of healthy and happy lives.

Peer Support

Lastly, kids need each other. There’s a powerful multiplying effect when someone has your back. We all need that peer support – found in friendships, teammates, and co-participants in all the extra-curricular activities we offer. These do amazing things to boost student self-confidence and resilience in difficult times.

Yes, it’s true, peer pressure and bullying can also be a source of pain. But each year we work to implement a wide range of strategies that help prevent those conditions. We stress kindness, togetherness, cooperation, and selfless actions that lift one another. We have zero tolerance for actions that belittle, demean, or make children feel frightened or intimidated, and these are followed up by deterrents and other corrective measures that stop it. 

But the vast majority of our students do feel good coming to school. They feel supported and enjoy associations with friends that last them beyond their education experience. They create positive memories and moments of togetherness that are cherished and valued.

At the end of the day, we want students to come to Murray each day feeling guided, supported, and safe. We want them to have confidence in their teachers, administrators, and staff. We want them to know if they have a struggle that an entire community stands ready to help. And, we want them to have friends, make new ones, and build memories and skills that propel them into a lifetime of thriving. 

We are here and we want them to be here, too. 


In an effort to better understand what our students need we will be administering a survey between November 8-10.  This survey will be offered to students in grades 4-12. The survey will take no longer than 10 minutes for your student(s) to complete. You can see the contents of the survey here. This survey will be anonymous so students can answer questions freely without answers being tied to them. Answers will be used to create, improve, and implement school-wide systems that are known to improve student attendance. When the survey is complete, the action plan that is created to promote attendance and address absenteeism will be shared with the MCSD community.