Why attendance is important!
Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success—both in school and in life. When you make school attendance a priority, you help your child get better grades, develop healthy life habits, avoid dangerous behavior and have a better chance of graduating from high school. Every day a student is absent is a lost opportunity for learning. Too many absences not only can affect achievement for the absent student but also can disrupt learning for the entire class. As a parent, you can identify the reasons why your child is absent from school and help them to overcome these challenges.
Did you know?
• Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.
• Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
• By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
• By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
• Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
• Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
• Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.
How to keep your child on track in Middle and High School
• Talk about the importance of showing up to school everyday, make that the expectation.
• Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
• Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
• Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety.
• Find out if your child feels engaged by his classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. Make sure he/she is not missing class because of behavioral issues and school discipline policies. If any of these are problems, work with your school.
• Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
• Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
• Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.
• Know the school’s attendance policy – incentives and penalities
• Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to
something going on at school.
• Check on your child’s attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
• Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school.