At ACPS, we believe that every student succeeds when every student attends. We are encouraging our families to focus on student attendance and engagement this academic year.
Research shows that chronic absenteeism leads to poor academic achievement and can lead students to drop out of school altogether. The earlier we intervene, identify and address the reason for chronic absenteeism, the better the outcome.
Did You Know?
- Missing just one school day every two weeks can place your child at risk of academic failure.
- Positive school attendance habits are developed as early as kindergarten.
- Your child is less likely to succeed academically if he or she is chronically absent.
An absence from school, regardless of the reason, results in missed instruction and class time. Parents and guardians: you play a vital role in helping your children stay on track by keeping open communication with your school and by getting involved when attendance is becoming an issue.
In addition to your school administrator and your child’s teacher, every school has a student support team in place that includes a social worker, psychologist, nurse and school counselor, all of whom are here to support you and your child. Just ask!
What is Chronic Absenteeism?
Chronic absence is the accumulation of excused/unexcused absences for any reason, to a total of 10% or more of the school year. For the 2019-20 school year, we have 183 student days. This means that as few as two or three days a month can lead to chronic absenteeism over the course of the year.
Students who are absent for 10% or more of the school year are considered to be chronically absent, regardless of the reason. Visit the Virginia Department of Education website for more information.
How Families Can Help Avoid Chronic Absenteeism
- Read and follow the School Board Attendance Regulations JEA-R (PDF) concerning attendance.
The new regulation outlines the ACPS Attendance Policy, how ACPS monitors and responds to truant activity, and the consequences of truant behaviors. Parents and guardians need to be aware of the policy and take steps to ensure their children attend school consistently.
- Keep your child in school
We understand that there are times when illness or other family circumstances result in missed school. Whenever possible, schedule appointments before or after school, on teacher work days or during breaks. And, schedule vacations and time away during scheduled school breaks.
- Engage with your child’s school
Students feel more connected to school when parents are interested, engaged and involved. Stay connected with your school and your child’s school experience.
- Encourage a positive attitude towards school
The more supportive and encouraging parents and guardians are about school, the more positive the message your child will receive from you about the importance of school.
- Take advantage of school supports
Teachers, administrators, school counselors, nurses, psychologists and social workers are all there to support your child and your family. Whether you are at a loss for where to start, are feeling overwhelmed or just feel stuck, reach out to your school for support and guidance.
Ensuring positive school attendance is a collaborative effort that requires all parents and guardians, students and staff to work together. We appreciate your efforts helping to encourage and support consistent attendance throughout the school year.