students notebooksPay Attention to Attendance:  Keep your Child on Track in Middle and high School

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a students' academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school.  Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and on the job.

Did you know?

  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
  • By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
  • Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days of the school year can drastically affect a student's academic success. 
  • 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 can you do?

Make school attendance a priority

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school everyday, make that the expectation. 
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night's sleep.students thumbs up
  • 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 stomach aches may be  signs of anxiety.

Help your teen stay engaged

  • Find out if your child feels engaged by his classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats.  Make sure he/she is not missing class because of behavioral issues and school discipling 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 fee isolated.m
  • Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs. 

Communicate with the school

  • Know the school's attendance policy - incentives and penalties
  • 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 a school officials, after-school programs, other parents o community agencies if you're having trouble getting your child to school.
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