CACTC recognizes that good attendance is essential to academic success. But far too many students are at risk academically because they are chronically absent. Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year—or about 18 days – for any reason, excused or unexcused. That’s the point at which absenteeism begins to affect student performance, research shows.
Many children, especially in the early grades, miss too much school because of chronic health problems, unreliable transportation or housing moves—barriers that city agencies and community partners can help families address. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school – and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.
Each year, nearly one in ten K-3 students in Cortland County miss 10% or more school days
Did you know?
Starting in 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.
Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
When do absences become a problem?
Chronic Absence: 18 or more days
Warning Signs: 10 to 17 days
Satisfactory: 9 or fewer days
Easy ways to help improve
your child's attendance
Don't let your child stay home unless 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.
Introduce your child to their teachers and classmates before school starts to help them transition.
Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make them feel comfortable and excited about learning.