Date: September 20, 2022
Dear Families, Colleagues, and Partners in Education:
Engaging our community to help address chronic absenteeism has been a top priority of mine since stepping into the role of superintendent. When students attend school regularly, beginning as early as preschool or kindergarten, they have an opportunity to thrive academically. Children feel better about school when they attend regularly. Research shows that when students are chronically absent, (missing 10% or more of the school year or 18 days over an entire year), they are less likely to read proficiently by third grade, achieve in middle school and graduate from high school.
How can our community help combat chronic absenteeism? We start by building healthy attendance habits in the early elementary school years so that students learn right away that going to school every day is important. While we know that simply attending school does not guarantee academic success, every day a student misses school is a lost opportunity for learning. Chronic absenteeism can cause vulnerable students to fall further behind, widening equity gaps.
Poor attendance habits can start with chronic tardiness to school. Arriving at school on time and remaining for the duration of instruction positively affects a student’s academic performance. Additionally, student absences and tardies can impact the entire class if the teacher has to slow down learning to catch up habitually absent or tardy students.
The month of September is Attendance Awareness Month and district and school administrators are spreading the word through various student incentives. We ask that you remind your students of the importance of attending school and being punctual for class. Eventually attendance will become a lifelong skill that will help them succeed far beyond their high school years.
Let’s work together to provide our students with opportunities for success by making attendance a priority.
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