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Posted September 5, 2017

Parent Tips for Improving School Attendance

Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day!

September is Attendance Awareness Month Here is some information on student absenteeism as well as tips for parents to help their children understand that Every Day Matters.

Did you know:

  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay on track to graduation.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with mistreatment or facing other serious problems.
  • By 6th grade, absenteeism is a sign that a student may drop out of high school.
  • By 9th grade, regular attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th-grade test scores.
  • Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
  • Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.

What you can do:

  • Make school attendance a priority. 
  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day. Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomachaches may be signs of anxiety.
  • Help your child stay engaged.
  • Find out if your child feels engaged by his classes and feels safe from mistreatment. Make sure he/she is not missing class because of behavioral issues and school  discipline policies. If any of these are problems, work with your school. 
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you. 
  • Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Communicate with the school. 
  • Know the school’s attendance policy.
  • Talk to teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.  
  • Check on your child's attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
  • Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school.
For more information, contact APS Truancy Unit Program Manager Ron Lucero at 505-855-9794 or Ron.Lucero@aps.edu.
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