September is Student Attendance Awareness Month. All across the country, school districts are focusing on the urgent issue of student attendance. Chronically absent students are found in every type of community - urban, suburban, and rural. Poor attendance can also be found at all grade levels, and it typically starts with habits developed in the early grades.
When students are chronically absent, the resulting loss of instructional time is substantial, and for many students, the academic consequences are negative. Students who are chronically absent in the early years are less likely to be on grade level by third grade, more likely to have poor attendance in middle and high school, and are more likely to drop out of school.
Research indicates that missing as little as two days a month can get a student off track in their academic progress. All families want what is best for their children; however, sometimes we do not realize how absences can add up to academic problems. In order for our students to succeed, please join us in taking steps to tackle the attendance issue. Listed below are a few things that we can do to encourage regular attendance with our students.
- Make school attendance a priority: talk about the importance of school, maintain daily routines, try not to schedule routine appointments during the school day, and try not to allow students to stay home unless they are truly sick.
- Communicate with the school: know the attendance policy and routinely check PowerSchool to keep an eye on attendance and grades.
- Develop back-up plans for getting students to school if something comes up such as a missed bus or you are sick: call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
Elementary Informational Handout
Middle-High School Informational Handout
Laurie Atkins, Superintendent
Polk School District