Attendance Awareness Month: Miss school, miss learning — miss out on a lot

--- Published on September 02nd 2018 ---
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Parents and guardians, we need your help this year to ensure that every student attends school every day and arrives on time. September is Attendance Awareness Month nationwide, an opportune time to reflect on this vital priority.

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success, starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and in life.

We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. But we also know that when students miss too much school— regardless of the reason – it can cause them to fall behind academically.  Your child is less likely to succeed if he or she is chronically absent— which means missing just two days a month over the course of an entire school year. Research shows:   

• Children chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. 
• By 6th grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school. 
• By 9th grade, good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores. 

Absences can add up quickly – and missing even one day of instruction means missing a lot.

Here are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance:
• Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine.
• Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
• Ensure your children go to school every day unless they are truly sick.
• Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
• Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school.
• Develop backup plans for getting to school if something comes up.  Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.
• If your child is absent from school, please call or send a note to the school within 24 hours.

Help us keep your student on track for academic success. Questions? Please contact your child’s school.

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