Please remember the importance of good attendance. your child is less likely to find academic success if chronically absent. Chronically absent means 18 or more absences a year (just 2 days a month). Absences can add up quickly. We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems. But we know that when students miss too much school, regardless of the reason, it can cause them to fall behind academically. When your children are not here, they are missing important instruction. Research shows chronic absences as young as kindergarten impacts children’s learning, reading abilities, test scores and even drop-out rates. Clearly consistently coming to school on time and staying to finish out the entire day makes a difference in your child’s present and future education.
Here are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance:
- Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine. In elementary school years, the recommendation is for children to sleep 10-11 hours a night. The National Sleep Foundation also notes that “watching TV close to bedtime has been associated with bedtime resistance, difficulty falling asleep, anxiety around sleep and sleeping fewer hours”. Since then, it has been suggested that the light from technology devices (such as smart phones) close to bedtime, decreases the natural production of melatonin which helps with falling and staying asleep. Keeping betimes on non-school nights consistent (not later than one hour past school night bedtime) can help considerably. If the schedule changes more over the summer, spend the last week of summer getting back on schedule.
- Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
- Ensure your children go to school every day unless sickness involving symptoms like fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, or deemed contagious.
- Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
- Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your child reels anxious about going to school.
- Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.