Every Student, Every Day, IN SCHOOL!
GIPS Social Workers support and monitor attendance. Regular attendance by the students at school is essential for students to obtain the maximum opportunities from the education program. Parents and students alike are encouraged to ensure an absence from school is a necessary absence. Students shall attend school unless excused by the principal, or principal’s designee, of their attendance center.
Please see policy 8312 EXCESSIVE ABSENTEEISM.
Attendance works: Attend today, achieve tomorrow
Good attendance contributes to students doing well in school and eventually in the workplace. The early school years are essential for laying a foundation for strong attendance and academic success in future years. By middle and high school, poor attendance is even more predictive of dropout. Each absence represents a preventable lost opportunity to learn in the classroom. We can’t afford to think of absenteeism as merely a lack of compliance with school rules.
Students are at risk academically if they are chronically absent (missing just two days a month or 10 percent of the school year). When too many absences occur, they can affect learning, regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused. Sporadic, not just consecutive, absences matter. Before you know it – just one or two days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of the school year.
Prevent absences whenever possible. Some absences are unavoidable for example, when students have a serious or a contagious illness. But many absences can be prevented by identifying and resolving barriers to attendance. These can be related to transportation, bullying, inadequate supports for students with disabilities or a lack of engaging instruction.
Reducing health related absences, such as chronic disease, lack of access to care, undiagnosed illness and anxiety, is key because illness is the top reason students and families give for missing school. Health professionals, particularly pediatricians and nurses, are allies for communicating with parents and schools about the importance of preventing school absences and connecting families to needed supports.
Students are more likely to attend school if they feel safe (emotionally + physically), connected, supported, and believe they can learn and achieve. School staff, especially teachers, play a primary role in creating an engaging school climate and culture that encourages students to attend and fosters student self-efficacy. Educators and community partners can help students feel they belong in school.
Relationship building is fundamental to any strategy for improving student attendance. Caring adults, such as teachers, mentors, or afterschool providers are critical to encouraging families and students to pay attention to absences adding up and to seek out help to overcome barriers. Trusting relationships motivate attendance even when it isn’t easy to get to class and encourage students to share the barriers they face.
Chronic absence is a problem we can solve when the whole community collaborates with families and schools. All of us can model problem-solving, engage students and families in learning and set the expectation that attendance matters. Community partners can also help address tough attendance barriers.
The key to success is to avoid laying blame and taking a proactive, positive, data driven, problem-solving approach. Data, both quantitative and qualitative, can show us where absenteeism is most concentrated (by school, grade, ethnicity, geography, disability, income, etc.) and help us assess and identify the causes of absenteeism.
Families, educators and community partners need to monitor how many days a student misses school. Families should track how many days their children have missed so they are aware of when they should take action. Districts and schools can use data to identify which students are chronically absent and provide extra support before they fall behind academically. A variety of community partners can inquire about absences, help to identify root cause and offer solutions.
Reducing chronic absence helps create more equitable academic outcomes, especially for children who live in poverty, experience discrimination and have disabilities. Chronic absence data can be leveraged to identify and address the school-wide and systemic barriers that impact our most vulnerable children who experience higher levels of chronic absence at younger ages. These children are less likely to have the resources to make up for lost learning time.
States can lead the way and encourage districts and schools to take action to improve student attendance. State leaders can ensure availability of timely data, support professional development, and allocate resources to address the school or community conditions that contribute to chronic absence. Chief state school officers can call for a positive, prevention-oriented approach, including participating in the national Attendance Awareness Campaign.
IN ORDER FOR STUDENTS TO BE AS SUCCESSFUL AS POSSIBLE, THEY MUST BE IN SCHOOL EVERY DAY, ON TIME.
- Statistics show that as few as 7 absences a year may affect how well a child succeeds in school.
- According to state law, children must regularly attend school until they reach the age of 16.
- Parents have a legal responsibility to have their children attend school.
- Excessive absences and tardies will be considered a truancy issue.
School personnel will partner with parents to help ensure regular and on time attendance.
It is important to contact the school whenever your child will be tardy or absent.
School social workers will regularly meet with school staff to identify and discuss patterns or potential concerns in attendance. (principal, secretary, attendance clerk, guidance counselor, etc.)
The school social worker and parents will partner to remedy attendance issues. Together they will develop the Student Attendance Intervention Plan. Parent/s or guardian/s, student/s, school social worker, and other appropriate personnel will sign the plan and receive copies. The attendance hearing officer will also receive a copy of the Intervention Plan.
If the Intervention plan does not result in improved attendance, the attendance hearing officer will contact the family for appearance at a school attendance hearing.
Parent/s or guardian/s will carry out the orders delivered by the attendance hearing officer with assistance from the school social worker as needed. Regular appearances at school attendance hearings will continue as deemed necessary. Failure to comply with the order will result in immediate appearance before the attendance hearing officer.
Continued violations of the attendance order will result in referral to the Hall County Attorney's Office for prosecution.
A lessening or cessation of attendance issues indicates success on the part of the family. Families will be recognized for their accomplishments.
HOW PARENTS CAN HELP
- Let your child know you expect him/her to attend school.
- Acknowledge your child's bad/ill feelings, while still expecting them to attend school with mild symptoms.
- Contact the school when your child is absent or tardy.
- Consult with your child's physician when illness is contributing to poor attendance.
- Use your family, as well as resources in the school and community, to work on attendance problems.
- Talk with your child's teacher, counselor, or social worker in order to address attendance issues.
- Together a plan can be developed to improve attendance.