Attendance Matters: We Belong In School

Posted by Columbia Heights Public Schools on 9/3/2019

Showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day and understand why attendance is so important for success in school and in life.

TODAY, we're kicking off our “Attendance Matters” campaign at Valley View and Columbia Academy. School success goes hand-in-hand with good attendance. We want to help your student succeed in school by building the habit of good attendance.

We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. But, we also know that when students miss too much school— regardless of the reason – it can cause them to fall behind academically.  Your child is less likely to succeed if he or she is chronically absent—which means missing 18 or more days over the course of an entire school year. Research shows:    

  • Children chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.  
  • By 6th grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school.  
  • By 9th grade good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores.  

Absences can add up quickly. A child is chronically absent if he or she misses just two days every month!

Over the next few weeks, we’ll share information about chronic absences, how it affects your student’s academic trajectory and what you can do to help your student be successful. 

Part of this campaign will include an attendance challenge Sept. 3-30. During these weeks, we will be collecting data on overall student attendance at Valley View to celebrate students with consistent attendance. As a school, our goal is to increase overall consistent attendance to meet the state average of 91 percent over the first month of school. 

What does that mean for your student? Every student with 80 percent consistent attendance during this 4-week challenge (20 school days) will receive a small prize and be entered into a drawing to receive a prize (one student per grade level). For a student to reach 80 percent attendance, they must be at school a minimum of 16 full days. For an individual to meet the state average of 91 percent, they can only miss ONE school day during the month of September.

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