September is Attendance Awareness Month and it may seem obvious, but success in school starts with students actually being in the classroom. School attendance is a baseline factor in student success and throughout the school district, teachers and administrators work each year to find the right lesson plan to keep students engaged and in class each day.
Building a habit of good attendance at an early age sets the foundation for their educational success. Consistently attending school helps children feel better about their school experience and themselves. Plus, arriving on time every day builds lifelong skills that help children do well in high school, college and at work.
It’s never too early to talk with your child about the importance of showing up to school every day, on time, ready to learn. As your child grows, the family continues to play a key role in ensuring students make attendance a priority. Helping to create and maintain daily routines like homework, chores and bedtime helps support your child’s success. Encourage meaningful after-school activities and know your school’s attendance policy. All of these things help your child be successful in the classroom and prepared for success after graduation.
How to Help Your Student:
- Set a regular bedtime and morning routine
- Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before
- Find out the first day of school and any requirements including documents and shot records that may be needed
- Visit the school and teacher before the first day if possible
- Don’t let your child stay home unless he/she is truly sick
- If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors or the principal to help him/her feel comfortable and excited about school
- Develop a backup plan for getting to school
- Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session
- Stay on top of academic progress and your child’s attendance
- Update contact information so teachers can contact you whenever needed
Facts About School Attendance
- Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days the first month go on to miss nearly a month of school total.
- Over 1 in 7 U.S. students miss nearly a month of school each year.
- Absenteeism can affect young students; 1 in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students are chronically absent.
- Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade.
- By sixth grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
- Research shows missing 10 percent of school, or about 18 days, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s just two days a month.
- When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.
To learn more about Attendance Awareness Month, visit the Attendance Works website.