School attendance is the key to your student’s success. According to The Parent Institute, “Schools are responsible for teaching your child, but schools can’t do their job if your child is absent. Learning builds day by day. A child who misses a day of school misses a day of learning.” The Parent Institute also asserts that “being late for school hurts a child’s learning, too. A student who is 10 minutes late every day will miss 30 hours of instruction during the year.” In other words, even if a child does the make-up work, he/she can never get back the discussions, questions, and explanations by the teacher the use the thinking skills that makes learning relevant to the child’s life.
Here are some ways the Parent Institute says that parents can improve a child’s attendance:
- Talk with your child about why it’s important to be in class every day.
- Avoid scheduling family trips or doctor appointments during school hours.
- Make sure your child stays healthy by eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, exercising, and washing hands regularly.
- Do NOT accept excuses for why your child “must” miss or be late to school.
- Discuss what happened at school when you see your child after school.
- Support all school rules and consequences for skipping class, being tardy, and breaking rules.
- Show your child why education is important.
- Lead by example. If children see parents taking off work for no real reason, they may expect to be able to do the same thing.
- Be honest with the school on why your child is missing. When you write an attendance explanation, give the true reason, even if it results in an unexcused absence. To do otherwise teaches your child to lie.
It is important that students learn the skill of being dependable and on time so that they can be good employees when they enter the workforce. This is not a skill that just happens over night, it must be taught, practiced, and reinforced so that it can become a way of life for the student.
Please help your child be successful and prepared for a positive, independent adulthood by making sure he/she attends school every day.