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Blog: Friday, February 28th, 2020

Every Day at School Counts

Chronic absence is a national issue in every province and at every grade level. Students can be chronically absent for many reasons, such as medical issues, illnesses, and mental health issues. Extended vacations, family outings, and appointments during regularly scheduled school days also contribute to reasons students are absent from school. Time away from school has a negative impact on students’ academic performance. Missing just 2 days per month (regardless of the reason) can be an early warning sign that a student will have academic trouble starting as early as kindergarten. Research shows absences from school not only negatively impact learning in a student’s current year, but accumulates over time, impacting future years of learning. Missing too many days can lead to a child who struggles to read proficiently by the end of third grade, fails courses in middle school and drops out in high school. Setting the expectation and pattern of consistent attendance early in education (preschool and kindergarten) offers the best long-term approach to preventing chronic absences throughout a child’s schooling.

Part of the goal of school is to develop responsibility in children and a big part of this is getting to school, arriving on time, and being prepared for schoolwork. While the occasional absence is understandable, chronic absence is a concern. You can help your child succeed at school and in the future by instilling strong habits of commitment to punctuality in all things. 

10 Tips for Getting Your Child to School on Time, Every Day:

  1. Set attendance goals with your child and track your child’s attendance on a calendar.
  2. Help your child get a good night’s sleep.
  3. Prep the night before to streamline your morning.
  4. Try to schedule dental and medical appointments before or after school hours.
  5. Schedule extended trips during school breaks.
  6. Don’t let your child stay home unless he or she is truly sick.
  7. Talk with your child about the reasons why he or she doesn’t want to go to school.
  8. If your child has chronic health issues, talk to your pediatrician about developing a school action plan.
  9. Follow the school rules.
  10. Keep track of your child’s attendance and investigate reasons when the days missed add up.

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On Monday, March 2nd, letters will be going home with all students who have been absent two or more days per month since September. The purpose of these letters is to bring awareness to attendance patterns and encourage a goal of increasing student attendance for term 3, because every day at school truly counts

Erica Hopkins