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Posted September 5, 2017

September is Attendance Awareness Month

Students can’t succeed if they’re not in school.

One of the "Supt's Big 5" priorities this school year is attendance.

"Our students can’t succeed if they’re not in school, so we need to emphasize attendance," Superintendent Raquel Reedy recently wrote. "We will do a better job of monitoring absences, staying in touch with parents, helping students and families appreciate the value of going to class."

Once again this year, Albuquerque Public Schools has joined a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance during Attendance Awareness Month in September.

APS recognizes that good attendance is essential to academic success. But far too many students are at risk academically because they are chronically absent.

Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year -- or about 18 days – for any reason, excused or unexcused. That’s the point at which absenteeism begins to affect student performance, research shows.

Starting as early as kindergarten or even preschool, chronic absence predicts lower 3rd-grade reading scores. By middle school, it’s a warning sign that students will fail key classes and drop out of high school.

Chronic absence disproportionately affects children from low-income families and communities of color, creating attendance gaps that exacerbate achievement gaps in schools. This is not just a matter of truancy. Many children, especially in the early grades, miss too much school because of chronic health problems, unreliable transportation or housing moves—barriers that city agencies and community partners can help families address.

“’As a longtime educator, I know the value of making every school day matter," Supt. Reedy said. "Students who aren’t present in the classroom – who aren’t at school every day – can’t get the education they deserve, which too often means they won’t be successful in life.”


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