Attendance Awareness Month
September is Attendance Awareness Month. This nationwide campaign is designed to help everyone – from parents and students, to schools and community members, know and understand that every school day counts.
Excused and unexcused absences quickly add up to too much time lost in the classroom, starting in kindergarten and even pre-k. Students are at risk academically if they miss 10 percent of the school year, or about 18 days. Too many absences can affect learning, regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused.
Sporadic, not just consecutive, absences can be harmful. Before you know it – just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of the school year. By middle and high school, poor attendance is a leading indicator of a potential dropout. Chronic absence can have consequences throughout a child’s academic career.
Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are less likely to read proficiently by third grade, and students who do not read well by that critical juncture are more likely to struggle in school. They are also more likely to be chronically absent in later years, since they never developed good attendance habits. By middle school, chronic absence becomes one of the leading indicators that a child will drop out of high school. By ninth grade, it’s a better indicator than how well a student did on eighth grade tests.
That is why it is important to develop good attendance habits early and to continue the pattern. Good attendance helps children do well in school and eventually in the workplace. Good attendance matters for school success, starting as early prekindergarten and throughout elementary school. Developing the habit of attendance prepares students for success on the job and in life.
The first week of school is a good time to build positive attendance habits. Positive habits include: reading every day, completing homework on time and getting adequate rest every night. The district encourages parents to talk to their kids about building a habit of attending school every day and on time. And remember, talk to your child’s teacher or principal if illness, transportation, or another issue is preventing your child’s daily attendance. Thank you.