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News from 2019-2020

Posted: September 3, 2019

Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow

September is Attendance Awareness Month

Once again this year, APS is part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness about how important it is for students to come to school every day. We all know that good attendance is essential to academic success. Far too many students are at risk academically because they miss too much school. The whole community plays a role in getting the word out that every day of school matters. 

"Once we get our students in the classroom, we can help them succeed. It's everyone's job to get them there," said Superintendent Raquel Reedy, who has made attendance one of her top 5 priorities. 

Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year -- or about 18 days – for any reason, whether the reason for missing school is excused or unexcused. That’s the point where absences begin to affect student performance, research shows. This is especially so because, for every day of school missed, it takes up to three days for students to catch up on the learning they missed.

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 not pass key classes and drop out of high school. 

Children from low-income families and communities of color are more likely to have chronic absence. This leads to attendance gaps that make achievement gaps in schools even worse.

It's not just a lack of awareness. Many children, especially in the early grades, miss too much school because of chronic health problems, transportation issues, or housing moves—barriers that city agencies and community partners can help families with.

"As a longtime educator, I know the value of making every school day matter," said Supt. Reedy. "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 don't have the same chances for success as those who do show up."