Student Attendance

September is Attendance Awareness Month
Students miss school for many reasons including illness, lack of transportation, work, homelessness, and family responsibilities. Families understand the importance of education, however, they may not realize how quickly absences from school can add up. Schools, families, and communities can work together to improve attendance and support the needs of families and students.

Attendance every day is a priority for our schools!
Attending school every day will help children as they progress through their academic career. Even starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school. Our schools make attendance a priority and we want to see your child at school on time every day. Let’s continue to make it a great year!

Attending school every day can help prepare your teen for the workforce
Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate and keep a job. Just think if you didn’t attend your job each day how this would impact your job? The same is true for your child and school. Please make school attendance a priority. It can help them now and into the future!

Attendance is directly linked to achievement
Research shows that a high percentage of high school dropouts had poor attendance records. Helping your child get to school on time every day is an important way you can promote your child’s academic success. Help your child make good attendance a habit by following these tips:Attendance
• Enforce a regular bedtime and wake up time for your child
• Complete homework and reading in the evening
• Make sure your child is organized and leaves each morning with the needed supplies
• Remember that everything you add to a schedule means something must be taken away.
If you add lots of before and after school activities, you take away time for your child to read, play and study. If your child’s extra-curricular activities leave your child too tired to do homework or to get up in the morning, it is time to re-evaluate the benefit.

Attendance every day is a priority for our schools!
The winter months are upon us and the darker days can make it hard for your teen to want to get up and go to school. Please make school attendance a priority for your teen.

Here are some ways you can stay on top of your child’s attendance:
- Know your child's school attendance policy- incentives and penalties
- Talk to your child’s teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
- Check your child’s attendance in Skyward Family Access to be sure absences are not piling up.
- Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school.

It’s never too early to start good school attendance habits!

Preschool is a great time to start building a habit of good attendance. Young children with poor attendance in preschool also lose out on valuable learning time and if chronic absence continues into kindergarten, it can pull down academic achievement. Attendance matters as early as kindergarten. Studies show many children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade can struggle academically in later years. They often have trouble mastering reading by the end of third grade. Please make sure your child attends school each day!

Help your teen be ready to attend school each day
As parents and guardians, there are things you can do to help your teenage be ready to attend school each day. You can help them develop homework and bedtime routines that allow for 8 to 10 hours of sleep. Make sure that when the lights go out, so do the cell phones, video games and computers.

You can set an example for your child. Show him or her that attendance matters to you and that you won’t allow an absence unless someone is truly sick. Avoid asking older students to help with daycare and household errands. For more information go to:
Good attendance will help your child do well in school!

Did you know? Your child can suffer academically if they miss 10 percent of the school year or about 18 days. That can be just one day every two weeks, and that can happen before you know it. Some absences are unavoidable. We understand that children will get sick and need to stay home occasionally. The important thing is to get your child to school as often as possible, on time and to communicate with the school when your child will be absent.

Why Attendance is so importantWhen do absences become a problem?
Attendance is a major focus for Arlington Public Schools. According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), every absence, excused or unexcused, is a learning opportunity lost and can have significant impacts on a student’s success in school and life. A student who misses 10% or more of their school days, which amounts to 18 or more days in a school year—or just two days a month—for any reason is considered chronically absent. Chronically absent students are more likely to fall behind in reading and math and less likely to graduate from high school. Addressing chronic absenteeism and developing good attendance habits is a solvable problem for which we all share responsibility.


Additional Resources

Qualifications of Attendance and Placement (Policy 3110)

Excused and Unexcused Absences (Policy 3122)

Pre-Arranged Absences

The Importance of School Attendance (Video)

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism (OSPI)