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News from 2022-2023

Posted: August 30, 2022

Showing Up Matters!

September is Attendance Awareness Month, a good time to remind our students and families that regular school attendance is vital for success.

When students attend school regularly, starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, they have an opportunity to achieve academically and thrive.

When chronically absent, meaning missing 18 or more days in the school year, students are less likely to read at grade level or graduate and more at risk of dropping out of school. 

During the pandemic, the chronic absence of students across the nation nearly tripled, according to Attendance Works. Black, Latino, and Native American students, students living in poverty, students with disabilities, and English language learners have been significantly affected. 

The good news is that when we take steps to reduce chronic absence, it benefits our entire society. We all prosper when children and youth – regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, neighborhood, or income – have the opportunity to gain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school, work, and life.

"Every school day matters, starting in kindergarten and even preschool 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. 

What Families Can Do 

  • Check ParentVUE regularly. The online information system helps monitor attendance and grades and allows families to communicate with teachers and the school. 
  • If your child misses several days, reach out to the school for support and guidance on how to get them back on track.  
  • Refer to our Sick Day Guidelines when deciding if you should 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
  • Get involved! Getting involved with your child's school will help you 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 contact the APS Community Clothing Bank and School Supply Barn on your behalf.   

Tips for Preschool and Kindergarten

  • Work with your child and their teacher to develop strong attendance habits.
  • Talk about going to school, sing about it, make it an adventure. 
  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. 
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Share ideas with other parents for getting to school on time.
  • Keep your child healthy and make sure they have the required shots. 
  • If you are concerned your child may have COVID, call your school for advice. Ask for resources to continue learning at home if needed.
  • Ask family members or neighbors for assistance if you need help getting your child to school.
  • Schedule medical appointments and extended trips when school is not in session.
  • If your child seems anxious about preschool or kindergarten, talk to their teacher, counselor, or principal for advice.

Tips for Elementary School

  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Keep your child healthy and make sure your child has the required shots.
  • Develop backup plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.
  • Schedule medical appointments and extended trips when school isn't in session.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers or school counselors for advice on how to make your child feel comfortable and excited about learning.
  • Call your school for advice if you are concerned that your child may have Covid-19.
  • If your child must stay home due to illness or quarantine, ask the teacher for resources and ideas to continue learning at home.

Tips for Middle and High School

Make School Attendance a Priority

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day.
  • Help your student 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.
  • Keep your student healthy, and if you are concerned about Covid-19, call your school for advice.
  • If your student must stay home because they are sick or in quarantine, make sure they have asked teachers for resources and materials to make up for the missed learning time in the classroom.

Help Your Student Stay Engaged 

  • Find out if your student feels engaged in their classes and from bullies and other threats.
  • Make sure your student is not missing class because of challenges with behavioral issues or school discipline policies. If any of these are problems, contact the school and work with them to find a solution.
  • Monitor your student's academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors when necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
  • Stay on top of your student's social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Encourage your student to join meaningful after-school activities, including sports and clubs.
  • Notice and support your student if they are showing signs of anxiety.

Communicate with the School 

  • Know the school's attendance policy – incentives and penalties.
  • Check your child's attendance to be sure absences are not adding up.
  • Seek help from school staff, other parents, or community agencies if you need support.

We're here to help!

Visit the Attendance Supports Unit website for more information and resources. Please contact the Attendance Supports Unit if you have any questions at attendance@aps.edu.