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Attendance Awareness Highlighted in September

The goal seems so obvious. Improving school attendance improves student success and decreases achievement gaps. Yet chronic absenteeism is a problem nationwide, with as many as one out of seven students missing school two or more days each month, or 10 percent of the school year.

Director of System of Care, Janet Cherry said, “The school bell rings and attendance is taken. However, for some of our students, attending school can be quite a task due to challenging anxiety, boredom, fears and/or academic challenges. This school year, we are promoting the importance that we are here to help break down those attendance barriers.”

September is Attendance Awareness Month, and the CHCCS leadership hopes to deliver this message to every student, parent and guardian in the district. In a phone call to families earlier this month, Superintendent Pam Baldwin said, “We are celebrating Attendance Awareness Month with a renewed push to get students to school on time, every day, all day. This is as true for kindergarten students as twelfth grade students, whether absences are excused or not.”

Perhaps it’s easy to justify family vacations or children’s “personal days” with the argument that your children perform well, with high grades and strong test results. Yet many parents don’t consider the broader impact on entire classrooms; when one or two students miss multiple days of school each month, instruction may be slowed for every student. And few parents look ahead to the habits students are building through regular school attendance. Those children who miss minimal days of school each year will likely achieve more in college and in the workplace.

Parent and family engagement is the key factor for reducing chronic absenteeism. When families are facing challenges and hardships at home, and they struggle to get children to school on time each day, please remember that the CHCCS Student Services Department offers many resources and supports for families who need them. Find out how to access those services at your children’s schools, and from the district department. 

“We are here to provide support every day,” Cherry said. “We are here because we care that every student is in school. We want every student to know that their attendance is our priority. In school, every day, on time, all day...  Let us be your support."