September is Attendance Awareness Month

Students miss school for many reasons including illness, lack of transportation, work, homelessness, and family responsibilities. Families understand the importance of education, however, they may not realize how quickly absences from school can add up. Schools, families, and communities can work together to improve attendance and support the needs of families and students.

Why Attendance is so importantWhen do absences become a problem?
Attendance is a major focus for Arlington Public Schools. According to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), every absence, excused or unexcused, is a learning opportunity lost and can have significant impacts on a student’s success in school and life. A student who misses 10% or more of their school days, which amounts to 18 or more days in a school year—or just two days a month—for any reason is considered chronically absent. Chronically absent students are more likely to fall behind in reading and math and less likely to graduate from high school. Addressing chronic absenteeism and developing good attendance habits is a solvable problem for which we all share responsibility.

Attendance is directly linked to achievement
Research shows that a high percentage of high school dropouts had poor attendance records. Helping your child get to school on time every day is an important way you can promote your child’s academic success. Help your child make good attendance a habit by following these tips:Attendance
• Enforce a regular bedtime and wake up time for your child
• Complete homework and reading in the evening
• Make sure your child is organized and leaves each morning with the needed supplies
• Remember that everything you add to a schedule means something must be taken away.
If you add lots of before and after school activities, you take away time for your child to read, play and study. If your child’s extra-curricular activities leave your child too tired to do homework or to get up in the morning, it is time to re-evaluate the benefit.


Qualifications of Attendance and Placement (Policy 3110)

Excused and Unexcused Absences (Policy 3122)

Pre-Arranged Absence Form 3122F1

The Importance of School Attendance (Video)

Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism (OSPI)