Build the Habit of Good School Attendance

Learning to read goes hand in hand with good attendance! Start building the habit of going to school every day in preschool and elementary school. Your child will learn that going to school on time, everyday is important. Good attendance will help your child do well in school, work and life.

Did You Know:
  • For both preschool and elementary school, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in learning to read.

  • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) of the school year can make it harder to learn to read.

  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.

  • Routines your child starts in preschool can carry over into elementary school.

  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.

  • Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves.

What You Can Do
  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. If getting out the door is a hassle, to put it mildly, consider allowing your child to plan out the schedule (with your help), then post it on the fridge and stick to it. (Here are more ideas for a smooth morning routine.)

  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.

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

  • Introduce your child to her teachers and classmates before school starts to help her transition.

  • Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomachache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.

  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.

  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.

  • Try to avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.

These school attendance tips used with permission of Attendance Works.