- Everett Public Schools
- Attendance Matters FAQ
Attendance Matters FAQ
Why does attendance matter?
- Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.
- Absenteeism and its ill effects start early. One 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 6th grade, chronic absence (missing 10% of school) becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
- Research shows that missing 10% of the school year, or about 18 days, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That is just two days a month.
- The academic impact of missing school is the same whether the absences are excused or unexcused.
- Low-income students are four times more likely to be chronically absent than others often for reasons beyond their control, such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and lack of access to health care.
- When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.
- Being late to classes may lead to poor attendance.
- Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
What can you do?
- Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
- Talk about the importance of regular attendance and about how your child feels about school.
- Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required vaccinations.
- Introduce your child to their teachers and classmates before school starts to help their transition.
- Don’t let you child miss class unless they are truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomachache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to miss school.
- If your child seems anxious about school, talk to teachers, school counselors or other parents for advice on how to help them feel comfortable and excited about learning.
- Develop back-up plans for getting to class if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor or another parent.
- Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
How do I help my preteen or teenager?
Being engaged in 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 attend school every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and on the job.
- Make school attendance a priority.
- Talk about the importance of attending 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.
- Do not let your child miss school unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomachaches may be signs of anxiety.
- Help your teen stay engaged
- Find out if your child feels engaged by their classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. Make sure they are not missing class because of behavioral issues and school discipline policies. If any of these are problems, work with your child’s 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 after-school 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, after-school programs, other parents or community agencies if you are having trouble engaging your child in school.