September is Attendance Awareness Month

by Heath & Community Concerns and Family Engagement Commissions 

Parents Need to Know Why Attendance is Vital

About forty percent of parents underestimate how many school absences their child has and the impact those lost days have on their child’s success.  

That is just one of the startling facts California State PTA Commissioners heard when we attended a recent webinar,  “Generation Absent : Post-Covid Fall-Out and Long-Term Fixes.” It was a chance for all of us to learn more about Attendance Awareness Month and learn why it is critically important to help families understand the challenges that chronically absent students face.  (Note: the official state definition of chronically absent is missing ten percent or more of school, or about 18 days in the typical 180-day school year.)

During the course of the conversation, the presenters shared some tips and best practices to help schools, local PTAs, and families work together to improve student attendance.  Here are some of our favorites: 

  • Attendance is a process not an event– you must keep a focus on it all year long.
  • Promote attendance facts everywhere– on social media, at Back to School Night, at enrollment events, during campus events and in your PTA meetings.
  • Recognition of kids who are attending as well as students who are improving their attendance is really important.  Mailing home attendance recognitions, such as brightly colored postcards or letters, grab families’ attention and are often a point of pride. 

For more information about student attendance visit our website.