Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school. • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) 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.
• 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. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Set a regular bed time and 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 stomach ache 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.
- Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.
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