Greetings TACMO Family,
I have recently come across some valuable facts which prompted some deep pondering and that I am compelled to share, both as a principal and as a mother.
Why does attendance matter? And, beyond that, does a loss of a few minutes here and there due to tardiness or leaving early have an impact? The research is astounding. If a child simply misses 5 minutes a day, this adds up to 3 total days of learning lost in the school year. If a child misses 30 minutes a day, the sum is 19 days!
A child is considered "chronically absent" if they miss 10% of the school year, which is 18 days of our school calendar. When looking at academics, chronically absent students have lower levels of academic achievement (especially with reading),
s with school discipline, and a higher risk of dropping out. When looking further into their potential lives as adults, they tend to earn less, have a higher unemployment rate and less stable career patterns.
The best learning time for your child is at the beginning of the day. Morning meetings within the classroom tend to set the tone for the whole day. Coming in late to a classroom group conversation can add extra anxiety, triggering negative feelings and thoughts for your child. This precious time of the day should be used to prepare the brain to grow through a day of learning. Students who experience stress or anxiety at school for reasons such as struggles with peers or academics, tend to stay home more. Unfortunately, this does not fix the problem and it can create a larger negative impact as the child may feel more disconnected from school or more frustrated with attempts to do the work at home independently. They also miss opportunities to have extra supports and resources that are available for them at school.
What can we do about it?
With this new awareness, I would like to encourage you to
advocate for your child when booking appointments with doctors and dentists by scheduling them after school hours. Look at your morning ritual...is getting out of the house on time difficult? What might be some small actions that you can do the night before as you anticipate the typical obstacles of getting out the door on time. If you believe your child may be avoiding school, seek us out so we can partner together for your child's success. If you know that your child will miss at least one school day, let the teacher know in advance, you can do an "Independent Study" plan to help minimize the negative impact of learning time lost.
If you're like me, you've probably been thinking about some small changes that you can make in your home to help your child attend school more consistently, minute by minute. We love your children and want as many minutes as possible with them to help bring out their absolute best!