Lansingburgh Central School District takes student attendance very seriously. We encourage our students of all grade levels to attend school every single day it’s in session and we rely on our District parents/caregivers to ensure students are consistently attending.
Why is attendance important?
You might not realize how important consistent school attendance is for developing minds. Absences quickly add up and can have a major impact on academic success. Whenever students miss school, they are also missing valuable lessons and potentially falling behind in school work.
The Department of Education defines chronic absenteeism as missing at least 15 days in one school year and that this the point at which students are at serious risk of falling behind.
What’s an unexcused absence?
Any unexcused absence is any time a student misses school or class for any reason other than the ones listed below in the “excused absences” section. An unexcused absence may result in disciplinary measures and students may not be allowed to attend extracurricular events (ex. Junior/Senior Prom).
What about excused absences?
We understand students need to be out of school every now and then. We define these as an excused absence. Please note, even if a student is out of school/class for an excused absence, their parent/caregiver must provide written notification of the reason for absence within three days of their return to school.
As per the District’s policy (5100) regarding attendance, excused absences are defined as the following:
- Personal illness
- Sickness or death in the family
- Impassable roads or weather making travel unsafe
- Religious observance
- Medical appointment
- Approved school-sponsored trips and projects
- Required court appearance
- Approved cooperative work program
- Military obligation
- Pre-approved college visits
- Scheduled driver road test
- Other family and/or emergency obligations or circumstances, (ex: travel, child care, parent work issues).
What are some of the consequences of chronic absenteeism?
- Even at the earliest grades, frequent absences can have long-term effects on students. Frequently absent pre-k, kindergarten and first grade students are more likely to not read at grade level by third grade (University of Chicago).
- Just one year of chronic absenteeism between 8th-12th grade is an indicator of a student’s likeliness to drop out prior to graduation (University of Utah). Dropping out of high school is associated with fewer career options, poorer health and contact with the criminal justice system (National Bureau of Economic Research and the Justice Policy Institute).
What Can You Do to Improve Student Attendance?
- Talk with students from an early age about why consistently attending school is important. Consistent attendance is behavior developed at a young age.
- Only keep your child home for a legitimate sickness. Check their temperature with a thermometer to see if they have a fever. Headaches and stomach ache sometimes just mean a student is feeling anxious or nervous.
- If they are feeling anxious or nervous about school, we encourage parents/caregivers to talk with their teachers and school counselors about making them more comfortable in their school environment.
- Schedule doctor appointments and extended vacations (longer than a weekend) during school break times.
- Creating backup plans when they can’t get to school the normal way (ex. missing the bus). Find out ahead of time if there are family members, neighbors or friends who can help.
Attendance Resources - We encourage you to look through the resources below
- Parent Handouts: Building Good Attendance Habits (Attendanceworks.org)
- 10 Facts About School Attendance (Attendanceworks.org)
- VIDEO: Bringing Attendance Home (Attendanceworks.org)
- Chronic Absenteeism in the Nation’s Schools (Dept. of Education)
- “Every Student, Every Day”: Toolkit to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism (Dept. of Education)