As the new school year begins, it is important to remember that regular attendance in school, at all ages, directly affects student progress and may be the biggest factor influencing their academic success. According to a recent study, students who are chronically absent during kindergarten perform lower academically in first grade, “regardless of gender, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.” It is critical that parents make sure their children are in school all day, every day.
One of the most important things a child can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: attend school every day. By attending class regularly, a child is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and take quizzes and tests on time. There are other benefits as well:
● Regular school attendance helps students who are learning English by giving them the chance to master the skills they need more quickly and accurately — even in other subjects!
● Students who attend school regularly are more likely to pass reading and math assessments than students who don’t attend school regularly.
● By being present at school, a child is learning how to be a good citizen by participating in the school community, learning valuable social skills, and developing a broader world view.
Parents’ commitment to school attendance sends a message to their child that education is a priority for the family. Here are some ways parents can help their children be in school every day:
- Take the lead, insist on daily attendance.
- Teach your child how to set and use an alarm clock.
- Keep the television turned off in the morning.
- Follow the school’s guidelines and attendance policy, and report excused absences immediately.
- Check homework each night to see that your child understands and completes the day’s homework assignments.
- Limit absences due to medical appointments or illness. Avoid scheduling doctor’s appointments during the school day.
By making your child’s school attendance a priority, you will be taking an important step in supporting your child’s school success, and setting a good example. Remember every day counts!