The start of the school year is a great time to reinforce the importance of attendance with students. The first 20 days of school are particularly important for establishing good attendance habits.
Research has shown that absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year and students who miss fewer than two (2) days in September continue to average fewer than two (2) days absent each month. When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances of graduating.
There are a wide variety of reasons that students are absent from school, from health concerns to transportation challenges, so families are encouraged to communicate with their student’s school about absences and any concerns so schools and families can partner together to support the student’s attendance.
Here are some tips for families to support consistent attendance from the first 20 days of school and beyond:
- Keep track of your child’s attendance.
- Avoid appointments and travel when school is in session.
- Set a regular bedtime and morning routine (including limiting how late your child can use any electronic devices) and finish homework and pack backpacks the night before.
- Have a back-up plan for getting to school in case something comes up (this could be alternative bus routes, roads, or a plan with family members, neighbors, or other parents).
- Don’t let your child stay home unless they are truly sick, such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, or if they have a contagious rash.
- Communicate with the school about how we can work together to support your child’s attendance.
Additional Resources for Families