September is Attendance Awareness Month

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow

Good School attendance Means

  • Elementary School Students – Read well by the end of third grade
  • Middle Schoolers – Pass important courses
  • High Schoolers – Stay on track for graduation
  • College Students – Earn their degrees
  • Workers – Succeed in their jobs

Improving student attendance is an essential strategy for ensuring our students are on-track to learn and succeed. Below is some important information regarding attendance, please take some time to learn and spread the word about the importance of excellent attendance.

Too many absences—excused or unexcused—can keep students from succeeding in school and in life. How many are too many? 10% of the school year—that’s 18 missed days or 2 days a month—can knock students off track.

  • Excellent attendance (strive for five or less absences a year) helps children do well in school and eventually in the workplace.  Excellent attendance matters for school success, starting as early as prekindergarten and throughout elementary school. By middle and high school, poor attendance is a leading indicator of dropout. Developing the habit of attendance prepares students for success on the job and in life.
  • 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.  In AESD we strive for five or less absences a year.  Once too many absences occur, they can affect learning, regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused.
    • Sporadic, not just consecutive, absences matter.  Before you know it – just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of the school year.
    • Avoid unnecessary absences.  Some absences are unavoidable.  Occasionally, children get sick and need to stay home.  What is important is getting children to school as often as possible.
  • Chronic absence, missing 10 percent or more of the school year does not just affect the students who miss school.  If students are chronically absent, it slows down instruction for other students, who must wait while the teacher repeats material for absentee students. This makes it harder for all students to learn and teachers to teach.

What Parents Can Do

  • Avoid unnecessary absences. Some absences are unavoidable. Occasionally, children get sick and need to stay home. What is important is getting children to school as often as possible.

  • Families should avoid extended vacations that require your children to miss school. Try to line up vacations with the school’s schedule. The same goes for doctor’s appointments.

  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. Make sure they get 9 to 11 hours of sleep. You can lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.

  • For older children, you can help them develop homework and bedtime routines that allow for 8 ½ to 9 ½ hours of sleep. Make sure that when the lights go out, so do the cell phones, video games and computers.

  • Get to know the teachers and administrators. Make sure you introduce your child to teachers before school starts and keep in touch with the teachers.

  • Set an example for your child. Show him or her that attendance matters to you and that you won’t allow an absence unless someone is truly sick.

  • Seek help from the school or community if you are facing tough challenges related to access to health care, unstable housing, poor transportation or lack of food. Schools and community agencies are working together to offer help for families.

  • Monitor your student’s attendance.

What Students Can Do

  • Remember: School is your first and most important job.

  • You’re learning about more than math and reading. You’re learning how to show up for school on time every day, so that when you graduate and get a job, you’ll know how to show up for work on time every day.

  • Students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate and find good jobs. In fact, a high school graduate makes, on average, a million dollars more than a dropout over a lifetime.

  • School only gets harder when you stay home too much. Sometimes it’s tempting to stay home because you’ve got too much work or you don’t understand what’s going on in class. But missing a day only makes that worse.

  • Communicate concerns that may affect your school attendance to parents or school staff. Work with them to develop an attendance agreement identifying things you can do, your parents or guardians can do, and your school can do to help improve your attendance.