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Tips for Families to Support School Attendance

Supporting your teen

Help your child understand that school is your child's job

  • Make school attendance a priority and your expectation for your child.
  • Talk to your child about the importance of daily attendance in every class and how it helps his/her learning. 
Teens in school

Help your child build good habits

  • Help your child practice good daily habits like:
    • finishing homework and placing it in his/her backpack
    • laying out clothes and the backpack in the evening
    • having a regular bedtime for a good night's sleep
    • leaving early enough in the morning to get to school on time.
  • Help your child build responsibility skills by reminding them to make up any missed school work after an absence.

When your child is sick 

  • Only let your child stay home if he/she is truly sick. Sometimes complaints of a headache or stomach ache might be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.  Contact the teacher or school counselor for support if you think this might be happening.
  • The Sick Day Guidelines for Families may be helpful, if you are not sure if you should keep your child at home due to illness.

Appointments and vacations

  • Make every effort to schedule doctor, dentist, and other appointments after school hours.
  • If your child must be out of school for an appointment, get him/her back to school for at least part of the school day.
  • Plan vacations when school is not in session.

Attendance records

  • Contact the school every time your child will be absent.
  • Check your child's attendance regularly on ParentVue or with school staff.
  • Use ParentVue to keep your contact information up-to-date with the school (phone numbers, address, parent work location, email address, etc.).

Getting Help

Keep Your Teen Interested in School

Talk with your teen about classes

  • Ask about his/her school day.
  • Learn which classes are engaging your teen's interests.
  • Discuss ways to increase interest in classes your teen does not find engaging.
  • Stay on top of your teen's academic progress and attendance at ParentVue.

Safety

  • Ask your teen if he/she feels safe from bullies and other threats.
  • Stay on top of your teen's social contacts.
  • Discuss peer pressure and social isolation.
  • Feeling pressure from other teens or feeling lonely at school can lead to skipping or missing school.
  • Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.
  • If your teen is feeling unsafe, losing interest and/or missing school, get help from school staff (Teacher, Counselor, Nurse, etc.).

Heading toward graduation

  • Talk about why a high school diploma is important to your teen's future.
  • Make it clear that missing school is unacceptable.
  • Contact the school counselors and teachers if you think your teen may be falling behind academically, missing school more than 2 days per month, or seems to be losing interest in school to help your teen stay on track for graduation.