School Attendance

Why School Success Matters

Every student of school age (6 to 18 years) must attend school on each instructional day unless excused. A key factor in school success is regular attendance.

Partnership between home and school is critical to ensure student success. Parents and schools share responsibility for ensuring that students attend school and succeed in the school environment. The school is a focal point in students’ lives, where home, school, and community partners can connect and work together to support student success.

Patterns of attendance and lateness are often the signs of problems in other areas of a student’s life (e.g., academic, social/emotional, or medical issues, problems in the home environment or the community).

  • Learning difficulties, identified or unidentified
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Health issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Staff/student relationships
  • Poverty
  • Abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Lack of supervision and/or guidance in the home
  • Separation/divorce
  • Bereavement/ grief
  • Student living independently
  • Conflict with the law
  • Social networking
  • Over use of technology

What Schools, Parents And Community Partners Can Do

  • Assist students with visuals of daily routines, clarify expectations for work assignments.
  • Give students leadership roles to enhance sense of belonging.
  • Engage students in activities in the school environment and the community.
  • Ensure that there is an established routine and structure at home and at school, with a limited number of interruptions in a student’s daily schedule.
  • Create opportunities to engage students as part of a team, ensuring that they have a voice.
  • Set strategies for success by building home/school/community partnership to plan for and communicate with the student.
  • Try to engage the student in extracurricular activities.
  • Have frequent interactions with the student during the day to support success and reinforce expectations.
  • In some cases, it may be helpful for parents to bring the student to school rather than relying on the scheduled bus service.
  • Log student patterns of success and struggle to review, support, and intervene as appropriate.
  • Set up student contracts.
  • Set goals for students with chronic attendance problems.
  • Modify the curriculum or make ACCOMMODATIONS in order to meet student’s needs.

Student Absenteesim

Because regular attendance is a key factor in school success, absenteeism is a serious concern. It has a direct, negative effect on student achievement. Addressing attendance issues is a complex problem. Research points to the importance of understanding the causes of absenteeism in order to apply effective strategies and interventions.