School Attendance Matters
School attendance is essential to student learning and achievement in Suffolk Public Schools. When students are present, they are more likely to stay on track and progress academically, have more substantial social and peer connections, learn positive life skills, and have a better opportunity for an improved quality of life. Repeated absences from school can adversely affect your student's achievement.
Tardiness can also impact student learning. When students come to class late, it can disrupt the flow of a lecture or discussion, distract other students, and impede learning. To combat tardiness, practice establishing a "school prep" routine, such as taking out clothes, prepping lunches, and packing backpacks the night before to help your student arrive on time. Our students, staff, and parents must work together to reduce chronic absenteeism and tardiness. We cannot stress enough the need to be present in school every day and how student attendance directly impacts your student's success.
The U.S. Department of Education defines chronic absenteeism as when students miss 10% or more of the total number of days enrolled during the school year. In a 180-day school year, 18 days of absence on average can impact a school's accreditation status. Suffolk Public Schools recognizes the following categories of absences that contribute to chronic absenteeism: Excused or unexcused absences for any reason, absences before involuntary withdrawals (i.e., suspension), absences for virtual learning, and absences for students placed in full-time facilities based on actual attendance data.
Missing lessons affect student learning, ultimately impacting academic achievement and advancement. Poor attendance can also affect social and emotional development. For example, students who are chronically absent in the early years of their education may not learn crucial school-readiness skills and abilities such as critical thinking and problem-solving. Middle and high school students who are chronically absent have a significantly higher dropout rate. When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduation and promotions.