September is “Attendance Awareness Month”, and the theme for 2015 is “School Every Day”. The School District of Lee County recognizes the importance of school attendance and the crucial role it plays in student success.
Chronic absence – missing 10 percent of the school year, or just 2-3 days every month - is an alarming, largely overlooked problem that is preventing too many children from having an opportunity to learn and succeed. Nationally, an estimated 5 million to 7.5 million students are at risk academically each year because they are chronically absent. Children with certain risk factors, including poverty, chronic health conditions, homelessness, frequent moves and disabilities, are especially hard hit since they can least afford to miss school.
Throughout the month of September, the District will be participating in this nationwide campaign by encouraging schools and communities to “Map the Attendance Gap,” determining who, when and where students are most likely to miss too much school. Everyone has a role to play: parents, schools, healthcare providers, city agencies, nonprofits and foundations, afterschool programs, businesses, faith leaders and others. Research shows that poor attendance in the first month of school can predict trends for the entire year.
The District would like parents and community members to review the following facts and to consider joining us in the effort to encourage school attendance for all children. We will be promoting Attendance Awareness Month on Twitter and Facebook using #SchoolEveryDay.
- Parents care about their children’s success in Life. Help them recognize how quickly absences can add up to academic trouble.
- Parents don’t see absences as a problem if they are excused or if not consecutive.
- Parents don’t always make the connection between attendance in elementary and middle school and graduation from high school.
School Attendance Facts:
- Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.
- An estimated 5 million to 7.5 million U.S. students miss nearly a month of school each year.
- Absenteeism and its ill effects start early. One in 10 kindergarten and first grade students are chronically absent. Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back.
- By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
- Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school, or about 18 days in most school districts, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s just two days a month and that’s known as chronic absence.
- The academic impact of missing that much school is the same whether the absences are excused or unexcused. Suspensions also add to lost time in the classroom.
- Low-income students are four times more likely to be chronically absent than others often for reasons beyond their control, such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and a lack of access to health care.
- When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.
For more information please visit http://awareness.attendanceworks.org