The first step toward learning in school…is being in class! Prompt arrival and regular school attendance plays a crucial role in a student’s overall academic achievement and is a habit that should begin in preschool. During the early elementary years, children are gaining basic social and academic skills critical to ongoing academic and social success. Research shows that frequent absences is clearly associated with poor achievement, truancy in middle school, and more serious consequences in high school (frustration, school suspension, credit loss, school dropout, legal trouble, substance abuse, fewer career choices and lower paying jobs).
Why Attendance Matters…according to PHE Staff
Absent students miss teacher directed lessons, directions and explanations.
Absent students have "gaps" in their learning and skill acquisition.
Absent students develop the attitude that school isn’t that important.
Absent students do not develop a sense of responsibility.
Absent students miss peer discussion and cooperative learning activities that impact learning.
Absent students have increased stress and anxiety to make up work.
Absent students miss hands-on experiments and inquiry lessons. They fall behind in the inquiry process and struggle to build upon their missed learning.
Absent students impact social relationships that they are building.
Absent students who miss one week of school tend to have 2-3 weeks of lost learning, therefore impacting the amount of learning time in a school year.
The bottom line - Consistent attendance is like a book: If you miss chapters 3, 8, and 12, how can you understand what’s going on in the story? When students miss school, they are missing valuable instruction – in multiple content areas – that simply cannot be replaced, making complete understanding difficult to achieve. And it’s not just absences --- it’s tardies as well. When students are tardy, it sets the tone for the day --- they are always trying to catch up. Students are often embarrassed walking into when everyone else is already settled. They miss out on valuable socializing and camaraderie that occurs while students are getting settled and prepared for the day. In addition, for the student who struggles with organization and keeping up, being tardy severely impacts how their day is going to proceed. All of this creates stress for the students who don’t perform as well when they are worried about having been absent or tardy.
There are only 171 instructional days each year for elementary students, and as you can see…attendance does matter!