Attendance Matters

attendance-mattersNew Haven Public Schools have employed an Attendance Matters initiative as regular attendance is the surest way to promote student achievement. You can learn more at Attendance Works, but below is important information about how and why to build strong habits of attendance.

We highlight this on a college-going website because we know that bad habits are hard to break and a chronically-absent student is likely to take that habit to college. And a lack of discipline at college has ended many attempts at a diploma. There is no better college-going advice to the parent of a young child than this — go to school, on time, every day.

Did You Know?

• Starting in kindergarten, and even pre-kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
• Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read (this is also the strict cutoff requirement for receiving the New Haven Promise Scholarship).
• Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two every few weeks.
• Bring late to school may lead to poor attendance.
• Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher must slow down learning to help children catch up.

What You Can Do

• Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
• Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
• Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots.
• Introduce your child to his or her teachers and classmates before school starts to help the transition.
• Don’t let you child stay home unless he or she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
• If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors or other parents for advice and insight on how to make him or her comfortable and excited about learning.
• Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call upon a family member, neighbor or another parent.
• Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.

SOURCE: Reach Out & Read, Inc.

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