The Importance of School Attendance

You always want to set your child up for success— and making sure your child attends school as much as possible is one way to do this.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE

There are many reasons why students miss school when they don’t have to—struggling in the classroom, having trouble with bullies, or dealing with challenges at home. But when your child misses school for any reason, it becomes harder for them to succeed in school.

Did you know… millions of kids are missing school each week, leading to chronic absenteeism? A student who misses just two days of school each month — 18 days total in the year — is considered to be chronically absent. However, many parents don’t realize that, even when absences are excused or understandable, absences add up and can greatly impact a child’s education. In the United States, more than 6 million children are chronically absent from school each year.

There are many reasons why students miss school when they don’t have to. Some are struggling in the classroom, while others may be having trouble with bullies, or dealing with challenges at home.

Did you know… children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are less likely to read on grade level by the third grade? Students who cannot read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

MENTORING

When kids work with mentors, they learn about the importance of attending school every day. With an additional support system in place, kids learn strategies to address their day-to-day challenges, improve their grades and develop more consistent attendance.

Inside and outside of school, mentors can have an invaluable and lasting impact on their mentees. Studies show that kids who have a mentor tend to have better relationships with their families, are more likely to make better relationship and lifestyle choices, and are less likely to use drugs or engage in violent behavior.

AFTER SCHOOL/SUMMER LEARNING PROGRAMS

When kids get involved in after school programs, they are more likely to feel connected to their school communities and are less likely to be absent. After school programs ignite kids’ passion for learning, teach them new things, and offer them an opportunity to connect with other mentors, teachers and peers who care. Students who participate in quality after school programs improve their school attendance and have higher graduation rates.

Programs often provide healthy snacks and meals, encourage physical activity, and provide enriching opportunities in the arts, science and more. Check with your school to find out about the after school programs that are available in your district or explore the links below to find out more about after school programs nationwide.

Can’t find a program that fits your family’s schedule or your child’s interests? As a parent, you can also look for afterschool and summer learning programs and organizations within your community. To start, connect with local programs at the Boys and Girls Club of AmericaYMCAGirls Inc.4-H, and the National Summer Learning Association.

As a parent, you can identify the reasons why your child is absent from school and help them to overcome these challenges. Parents can prepare their children for a lifetime of success by making regular school attendance a priority and understanding the reasons for their child’s absences. Start here to find resources that can help you set your child up for long-term success by making sure they are in school every day.

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