Attendance first step to learning

The first month of the school year is an important landmark and,
in terms of attendance, can indicate how the rest of the year is
going to go.

Because of the importance of a strong start, September has been
designated as Attendance Awareness Month. The trend of chronic
absence can start as early as kindergarten and persist through
high school, contributing to achievement gaps and ultimately to
dropout rates. School attendance is essential to academic success,
but too often students, parents and schools don’t realize how
quickly absences, excused or unexcused, can add up to academic
trouble. Chronic absence— missing just 18 days per school year—
can lead to third graders unable to master reading, sixth graders
failing courses and ninth graders dropping out of high school.

During Attendance Awareness Month, the district is asking school
leaders, parents and students to act upon these critical first
steps to help stem chronic absenteeism in their schools:

• Build a habit and a culture of regular attendance;
• Use data to monitor when chronic absence is a problem; and
• Identify and solve barriers to getting children to school.

Every school day counts and everyone can make a difference. Join
us this September for the launch of Attendance Awareness Month.

For additional tips and information about Attendance Awareness
Month, visit www.attendanceworks.org.

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