Attendance is Key to Success

Help your child be successful in school by helping him or her build a habit of good attendance. Studies show that missing school lowers test scores and can cause students to fall behind. As parents, we want to do all we can to insure the success of our children. Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause students to fall behind. Missing 10% (about 18 days) can make it harder for students to learn to read. They can still fall behind by missing just a day or two every few weeks. Also, being late to school may lead to poor attendance. Poor attendance can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to help the children catch up. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves. Every day is important. Good attendance at all ages helps children do well in high school, college and at work.

So what can you, as a parent, do? Start by setting a regular bedtime and morning routine. Get school clothes and backpacks ready the night before. Don’t let your child stay home unless he or she is truly sick. Complaints of stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety not a reason to stay home. If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, the school counselor or administrator for advice on how to make him or her feel comfortable and excited about learning. Have a back-up plan for getting to school if something comes up. Ask a family member, neighbor, or another parent for assistance. Be sure to avoid making medical appointments and planning extended trips on school days. By doing these simple things, you are helping to set your child up for a successful school year and future.

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