The Importance of School Attendance

  • Why is it so Important to attend every day?

    • Learning is a progressive activity; each day's lessons build upon those of the previous day(s).
    • Reading the material and completing work independently does not compensate for the loss of insight gained during class discussion or the loss of competency acquired through explanation or supervised drill.
    • Many classes use lectures, discussions, demonstrations, experiments and participation as part of the daily learning activities, and these cannot be made up by those who are absent.
    • Regular student participation in daily classroom activities plays a significant role in a student's school success.


    Are there other benefits to my child?

    • Students with good attendance records generally achieve higher grades and enjoy school more.
    • Having a good education will help to give your child the best possible start in life.
    • Regular school attendance patterns encourage the development of other responsible patterns of behavior.
    • Students who develop an "on the job" attitude toward school will be more desirable to future employers.


    What are the risks of frequent absences?

    • A child who does not attend school regularly will be unlikely to keep up with the work.
    • The more students miss school, the lower their grades; the lower their grades, the less they want to stay in school; the less they want to stay in school, the more likely they will drop out of school.
    • Students who miss school are more likely to be at-risk for anti-social or criminal behavior.


    What can parents do to help?

    • Parents must model the value of education, including the importance of regular attendance.
    • Make sure that your child goes to school regularly and arrives on time-you will establish a good habit that will carry through life.
    • If your child starts missing school, work with the school to put things right. Make sure your child understands that you do not approve of him/her missing school.
    • If your child is ill or must miss school for some other reason, contact the school immediately. If you ask for homework, make sure your child completes it. 
    • Whenever possible, arrange family vacations during school holidays so that children miss as little school as possible.
    • Take an interest in your child's school work and be involved in the school as much as possible-your child will value school more if you do.


    Who else benefits from good school attendance?

    • Other students: less classroom time is spent reteaching and reviewing for students who have been absent.
    • Teachers: lesson plans are more likely to be completed when all students are present. Teachers must sometimes postpone tests or other important activities until all students are present.
    • The office staff: less time is spent calling to verify reasons for absences.
    • The school and district: the district reports the hours of attendance and hours of absences for each student to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary education.  The district is awarded performance points based on the percentage of students with a 90% or greater attendance rate.  These points count toward the district's Annual Performance Rate (APR). 


    Remember, regular attendance is necessary for success in school. Help ensure that your child has the best opportunity for success by making sure he/she is in school every day.