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News from 2021-2022

Posted: September 7, 2021

September is Attendance Awareness Month

What families can do to help keep kids in school.

Image courtesy of Attendance Works

Image courtesy of Attendance Works

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. 

"We know that every school day matters, starting in kindergarten and continuing through the senior year in high school. It doesn’t take long for a student to fall behind. Fall far enough, and we may lose them. We can’t let that happen," said APS Superintendent Scott Elder.

Keeping kids in school is everyone's responsibility. The APS Attendance Supports Unit asks that families help by paying attention to when their child’s absences start to add up and reaching out to the school for resources and support before they miss so many days of school that they are at risk of not reading at grade level, being on track to graduate, or even dropping out of school. 

We want your students to receive the full experience from their education so they will be prepared for success in school, work, and life. 

What is Chronic Absence?

Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year – or about 18 days in a school year – 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.

What Families Can Do 

You can support your child to be successful in school and have good attendance by doing these things:  

  • Check ParentVUE regularly. The online information system helps monitor attendance and grades and allows families to communicate with teachers and the school.   
  • Get involved! Even during the pandemic, there are ways you can get involved at your child's school, and getting involved at the school will help you to understand what is going on and be a part of the school community.  
  • Update your contact information immediately when there are changes.
  • Let your child's school know if you need help with school supplies or clothing, and they'll get in touch with the APS Community Clothing Bank and School Supply Barn on your behalf.  
  • Help your child stay on track by learning what happens if they become chronically absent. 
  • If your child does become chronically absent, reach out to the school for support and guidance on how to get them back on track.  
  • Find out the sick day guidelines so that you know when to keep your child home from school. 
  • Help your child feel safe. If they refuse to go to school, they might need emotional support, or it might be a sign of a problem at school. Reach out to the school counselor

We’re Here to Help

Your school can help with logins, internet, devices, grab-and-go meals, health and mental health, and resources. 

Visit the Attendance Supports Unit website for more information and resources.  Please feel free to contact the Attendance Supports Unit if you have any questions at