Most every kid misses some school days due to illness, appointments or family obligations. Usually, missed lessons or assignments can be made up when absences are occasional.
But chronic truancy or absenteeism — typically defined by missing more than 10 percent of the school year — can make a significant dent in a student’s academic success.
This risk also goes beyond academics – students with poor school attendance are more likely to undergo poverty, have poor mental and physical health, and be involved in criminal activity as adults.
Such long-term student absenteeism is also pervasive in this country. The same study found more than 6 million students chronically absent over the course of one school year, with about one in seven missing up to three weeks of school.
And that problem is exacerbated when k-12 schools start to lose per-pupil government funding when student stats change as a result of school attendance. Under the Every Student Succeeds Act enacted in 2015, schools that regularly report absentee rates may receive federal funding for remediation.
How can parents help control school attendance? Consider the following:
- Share the above statistics with your child and let him know how crucial school attendance is to their success.
- Closely track and limit the “excused” absences your child takes for medical appointments, family events, illness, etc. When possible, schedule such appointments before or after school.
- Find support through organizations such as Attendance Works.
- Intervene immediately if you find your child is skipping school without your knowledge. Determine and address the reasons. Assistance from the school may be necessary.
- Encourage your child’s schools to adopt a school notification system that informs parents when absences are noted. Such systems can save schools time and labor while helping you monitor your child’s activities.
With Alert Solutions, k-12 schools have the ability to automate daily attendance alerts to notify parents of their child’s absence right away. Talk to your school administrators about how this solution could help improve school attendance!