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Pay Attention to Attendance

 

Keep Your Child On Track in Middle and High School

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 on the job.

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.

 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

 Make school attendance a priority

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day, 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.

Help your child stay engaged

  • 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.

Communicate with the school

  • Know the school's attendance policy incentives and penalties
  • 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.

*School Absence Form to send in when your student is absent is located on the 'Parents' page.*