Elementary attendance

Attendance in the early grades



Many of our youngest students miss 10 percent of the school year—about 18 days a year or just two days every month. Chronic absenteeism in kindergarten, and even preK, can predict lower test scores, poor attendance and retention in later grades, especially if the problem persists for more than a year.

Who is affected

Kindergarten and 1st grade classes often have
absenteeism rates as high as those in high school.
Many of these absences are excused, but they
still add up to lost time in the classroom.

Absenteeism affects everyone when teachers
must repeat information covered during absences.


One in ten kids
in kindergarten and 1st grade
are chronically absent. In some schools, it’s as
high as one in 4.1

 

Why it matters

If children don’t show up for school regularly, they miss out on fundamental reading and math skills and the chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers.

Preliminary research data shows that children who were chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade were far less likely to read proficiently at the end of 3rd grade.

 

What families can do

Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots.

Build regular routines for bed time and the morning.

Talk about the importance of regular attendance and about how your child feels about school.

Don’t permit missing school unless your child is truly sick. Use a thermometer to check for a fever. Remember that stomach aches and headaches may be signs of anxiety.

Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.

Keep a chart recording your child’s attendance at home. At the end of the week, talk with your child about what you see.

Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Ask a family member, neighbor or another parent for help

Seek support from school staff or community groups to help with transportation, health problems, or no safe path to school.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.