According to Attendance Works, which “advances student success and reduces equity gaps by reducing chronic absence,” absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year, which can also influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back.
By sixth grade, chronic absence (missing 18 or more days per school year) becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school, according to research. When students improve their attendance rates they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating. If a student is chronically absent by the time he or she is in 12th grade, over a year of instructional time has been lost.
We are committed to tracking not only unexcused absences but also excused absences that can derail a student’s academic performance. It is our intention to reduce the number of all lost instructional days. Even late arrival and early departure leads to lost instructional time. By working with students and parents we can help our community understand how attendance relates to academic, social and vocational success.
Our administrators, teachers and social workers engage with our families to help them understand how chronic absences negatively affect students’ long-term success. We also recognize that factors, including unstable housing or illness, can contribute to poor student attendance.
Once we identify these impediments, we try to direct families to solutions or resources to relieve the problem that contributes to absences. Parents who have concerns regarding their child’s absences should contact the school’s social worker by visiting www.perryschools.org/ for-parents/student-services/. For more information about encouraging student attendance, visit attendanceworks.org.