Attendance: Why it is Important!
A student who is absent for two days each month misses up to 10 percent of the school year. Students who attend school regularly and on time earn higher test scores and are more likely to graduate than their peers who miss two or more days a month. Being present in class is a leading predictor of student success.
Chronic Absenteeism & Truancy Defined
What is chronic absenteeism?
Missing school for any reason (excused, unexcused, suspended/expelled). Commonly defined as missing 10 percent or more of instructional days.
What makes a student 'truant'?
A legal term that refers only to unexcused absences. A Tennessee student is considered truant with five unexcused absences and may be subject to legal intervention.
Important Facts about Attendance
- Half of the students who miss two to four days of school in September will most likely miss a month of school.
- Poor attendance may impact a student’s ability to read proficiently by the third grade which is the most important predictor of high school graduation and career success.
- By sixth grade, chronic absence (two or more days per month) becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
- Creating a habit of good attendance helps students learn workplace readiness skills needed to succeed after graduation.
- Chronically absent students (10 percent of the school year) show reduced grade point averages and lower scores in math, language, and science.
- A chronically absent student will have missed more than a year of school by high school graduation.
Tips to Get Your Child to School Regularly and On Time
- Set attendance goals with your child and track your child's attendance on a calendar.
- Help your child get a good night's sleep.
- Prepare for school the night before to streamline your morning.
- Try to schedule dental or medical appointments before or after school hours. If have to miss school for medical appointments, have them return immediately afterward so they do not miss the entire day.
- Schedule extended trips during school breaks.
- Don't have your child stay home unless they are truly sick. Keep in mind, that complaints of frequent stomachaches or headaches can be a sign of anxiety and may not be a reason to stay home.
- Talk with your child about the reasons why they do not want to go to school. If you are concerned about your child's mental health, talk with your pediatrician, your child's teacher or school counselor.
- If your child has a chronic health issue such as asthma, allergies, or seizures, talk with your pediatrician about developing a school action plan.
- Be Familiar with district/school policies. Be sure you know what your school's requirements are for when your child will be absent or late. If you are supposed to call, email, or provide a doctor's note after a certain number of days out, then do it. If we want our children to follow rules, we must lead by example.
- Keep track of your child's attendance to keep an accurate count of days missed.