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September is Attendance Awareness Month, and all month long, TCSS is focusing on just how important it is to be in school…every day! Chronic absence is defined by missing 10 percent or more of the school year – that breaks down to about two days per month – for any reason. The impact of this is serious. Here are just a few of the reasons why, according to research provided through the Attendance Works initiative:
* As many as 10 percent of kindergarten and first-grade students are chronically absent. These early absences correlate with poor attendance in later grades.
* Chronic absence in early grades has been linked to lack of reading proficiency in third grade.
* Chronic absence is linked to overall poor academic performance.
* By sixth grade, research has shown chronic absence to be a strong indicator of whether a student will drop out of school.
But, here’s the good news: research has also shown these trends to reverse, when attendance improves.
Here are a few steps families can take to encourage good school attendance:
* Build regular routines for bed time and mornings.
* Permit missing school only when your child is truly sick.
* Schedule medical appointments and trips for when school is not in session.
* Keep a chart of your child’s school attendance at home.
* Develop back-up plans for getting to school when the unexpected happens.
Here’s another important reason to start this year with good school attendance: One study showed students who missed two to four days in September were five times more likely than other students to be chronically absent for the year.
We’ll see you at school…every day!