Attendance Awareness

September is School Attendance Awareness Month, Every Day Counts
Posted on 09/11/2023
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The Carson City School District is hoping to drive home the message that every day counts in a child’s education while participating in the nationwide observance of School Attendance Awareness Month. The annual campaign each September underscores the importance of regular school attendance and the significant impact it has on student academic success.

“Consistent attendance is a key factor in a student's educational journey,” said Megan Newman, re-engagement specialist for the Carson City School District. “By attending school regularly, students are better prepared to engage with their teachers and peers, develop essential skills and achieve their full academic potential. We encourage parents, guardians and the entire community to join us in stressing the importance of being present in school and making every day count."

With a month to focus on school attendance, the district also seeks to improve student achievement. Last December, a district report revealed teacher effectiveness arguably remained the strongest school-related determinant of student success. However, chronic student absenteeism reduced even the best teacher's ability to provide learning opportunities. In short, if a student was not present, not even the best educators could teach them. Consequently, students who attend school regularly will be more successful and achieve at higher levels than students who do not have consistent attendance or are tardy frequently.

Other reports and studies researching elementary-age children found that absenteeism in kindergarten was associated with negative first grade outcomes such as greater absenteeism in subsequent years and lower achievement in reading, math and general knowledge.

Additionally, poor attendance has serious implications for later outcomes in years to come. High school dropouts have been found to exhibit a history of negative behaviors, including high levels of absenteeism throughout their childhood, at higher rates than their high school graduate counterparts. These differences in absentee rates were observed as early as kindergarten, and students who eventually dropped out of high school missed significantly more days of school in first grade than their peers who graduated from high school.

“School attendance has shown to be a key indicator significantly correlated with high school graduation,” said Dr. Ricky Medina, Ph.D., director of accountability and assessment for the Carson City School District. “The effects of lost school days build up one absence at a time with individual students. The best way to counteract that is to build up regular attendance, one day at a time and to help parents a families unify with schools and understand the importance and overall impact of missing school.”

While we recognize that life happens and that there will be times we will not be able to go to school for reasons beyond our control, absenteeism or tardiness becomes an issue at school when it becomes a constant behavior, Medina continued. Parents must be behind these efforts to ensure their children are practicing good habits at home and at school. After all, they are their first teachers, and family values are the main contributing factors to the life of a successful student.

Struggling with getting your student to school? Here are some things you can do:

  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine
  • Lay out clothes and backpacks the night before
  • Communicate the next day’s schedule in order to reduce anxiety

Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. If your child is communicating a desire to not attend school or attendance issues persist, consider seeking support from the school. Help make every day count.