Every Student Counts
FSD Prioritizes Attendance: Let’s Work Together to Support our Kids!
Today we’re sending a request to families, students, and the community to join us, Foothills School Division, in our effort of ensuring our children’s’ and youth’s success by making every day count!
Attendance at school impacts the success of our children and youth requiring a collaborative approach by all stakeholders including schools, parents, and the community. Good attendance has a direct effect on achievement, beginning right in Kindergarten. Missing one or more days each month in Kindergarten or Grade 1 can lead to chronic absences, defined in the as 10% or missing 18 days or more of school a year. That’s less than 2 days/month! If a student is absent one out of every 10 days, he or she may spend three out of 10 days struggling to catch up. At the youngest levels, where so much foundational material is taught, it doesn't take long for a child to get behind. As our students become older, these absences continue to impact their education, and have a direct effect on their achievement. Research shows:
- Children chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade.
- By 6th grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school.
- By 9th grade good attendance can predict graduation rates even better than 8th grade test scores.
- By high school chronic absences (2 days/month) is a warning sign that the student will drop out
Foothills School Division values and depends upon parental engagement in their child’s learning. Encouraging regular school attendance is one of the most powerful ways parents can prepare their child or youth for success—both in school and in life. When parents make school attendance a priority, parents are playing an instrumental role in supporting their child’s achievement in school. Students who attend school regularly feel more connected to their community, develop important social skills and friendships, and are significantly more likely to graduate from high school, setting them up for a strong future. By making your child's school attendance a priority, you truly will be taking an important step in supporting your child's school success.
Community members we need your help too! Addressing barriers to attendance by offering supports such as economic supports, child care and in-home supports when required can ensure that the students are getting to school. Health providers asking about school attendance, scheduling medical appointments before or after school and also communicating the message of regular attendance is also instrumental. Community organizations scheduling events before or after school as opposed to during the school day will also ensure our students have the opportunity to learn each and every day. As a member of the community there may be opportunities to also volunteer as a mentor or attendance buddy to also support getting students to school. There are ways that all of our community members can support our children and youth in getting to school each and every day and as a result play a role in their success!
If attendance is a concern, please let us know! Don’t wait to connect with the school if you worry about your child’s attendance. There is much that your child’s school can do to support and improve attendance and we are committed to working together! We prioritize attendance because we prioritize your child’s success.