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September is Attendance Awareness Month

Jeffco Shows Up: Attendance Awareness Month
Posted on 09/14/2023

Jeffco Shows Up Attendance Awareness Month

As we settle into the new school year, we are excited to share that September marks Attendance Awareness Month. One of our goals this year is to provide extraordinary student experiences by making student attendance a priority. Across Colorado and the country, student chronic absenteeism is on the rise.

What is Chronic Absenteeism?

Chronic absenteeism means missing 10 percent or more of the total enrolled days during the school year for any reason. It includes both excused, unexcused, out-of-school suspensions, and in-school suspensions that last more than one-half of the school day. Colorado ranks sixth highest absenteeism rate in the country. We believe we can and must do better for our students to be successful in school and beyond.

Why Does Attendance Matter?

  • Research demonstrates a strong connection between student attendance and academic performance.
  • Regular attendance allows students to establish and nurture relationships.
  • Students who get to school each day have a better chance of learning and succeeding.
  • Research shows that students who miss two days of school per month can struggle with reading, which may lead to social emotional stress.
  • When your student misses school they also lose valuable learning time, can fall behind in their school work and as a result, it’s difficult to catch up.
  • Students chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
  • By 6th grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at-risk for dropping out of school.
  • By 9th grade good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores.

We understand some absences are unavoidable due to illness or family emergencies but we also know that students who miss too much school, even occasionally, can fall behind academically or socially.

Tips to Support Families

  • Make sure your student is getting enough sleep.
  • Limit the use of electronic devices in the bedroom.
  • Set out clothes and backpacks the night before so your student is ready to go in the morning.
  • Establish a set morning routine to support getting out the door on time.
  • Only keep your student home if they are 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 student is experiencing anxiety about school, let us know so we can offer additional support to them.
  • Talk to your student’s teacher, counselor, or other parents in the community about what has worked for them to motivate their students to attend school.
  • Avoid scheduling vacations and doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
  • Have a backup plan for unexpected situations.
  • If there are challenges in getting your student to school, please contact your school or Family Response Service Team (FRST) for support.
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