It’s September and the school year is in full swing. The weather is changing, extracurricular activities are starting and everyone is getting settled into their normal back-to-school routines. September is a crucial month for school attendance and unnecessary absences can set the tone for the entire year; which is why September is Attendance Awareness Month, a nationwide initiative that promotes school good attendance habits and academic success.
Most families don’t realize even excused absences can be detrimental to a child’s education and missing two to three days per month during the school year can affect reading levels, test scores and ultimately increase the likelihood of high school dropout.
While it is important to understand the effects of chronic absenteeism, we at Agora want to show students and parents the outcome of establishing good attendance habits. Below are a few resources for both students and parents to help promote regular school attendance.
Academic success: Lessons plans are designed to build upon each day’s instruction. By regularly attending class you are more likely to comprehend and retain the knowledge you are receiving in the classroom. You are also exposed to demonstrations, group discussions, and social interactions that are almost impossible to recreate.
Career Success: Did you know that high school graduates make over a million dollars more over the course of their careers than individuals who drop out? By establishing good attendance habits you are more likely to achieve better grades, graduate, and begin a satisfying career. These habits also teach you the importance of being present and on-time, which in turn makes you a more reliable candidate in the job market.
Social Success: Over the course of your education you are going to learn more than just science and history. Regular school attendance helps promote social interactions with your peers. By engaging in these interactions you are able to create friendships that could potentially last a lifetime. A positive social circle also improves your self-esteem and reduces your risk of becoming involved in negative or illegal behavior.
Extras: There are a lot of organizations out that promote regular school attendance with some really cool incentives. For more information on some these programs check out www.attendanceworks.org.
For Parents and Guardians:
As a parent/guardian you are your student’s number one source of encouragement when it comes to school attendance. While some absences are unavoidable, it’s important not to let the hectic hustle of everyday life get in the way of your child’s education. Below are some tips and pointers to help keep absenteeism low in your household.
Set a schedule: Try to establish bed times and wake-up times, even for high school students. Also, try to schedule doctors’ appointments and vacations around the school calendar, not during the school day.
Ask Questions/Stay Involved: Ask your child about school and what they like and dislike. Discuss the importance of education with your child and the effect absenteeism can have on their future. Also, keep track of the school calendar, special events, and extracurricular activities.
Unnecessary Absenteeism: Don’t permit absences unless your child is sick or a family emergency has occurred.
Ask for Help: Reach out to your school guidance counselors and other members of the community if factors that are out of your control are contributing to your child’s absenteeism.
For more information on Attendance Awareness visit www.attendanceworks.org.