“Every student, in class, every day” is one of the most important steps in ensuring student achievement.
The Knox County Public Schools are joining school districts across the state in proclaiming Wednesday, September 18, as “High Attendance Day”. On High Attendance Day elementary, middle, and high schools compete in district-level and statewide competitions in an effort to promote the importance of student attendance.
“Students have to be in class in order to perform and learn at high levels,” stated Gina Sears, Director of Pupil Personnel for the school district. “While we designate September 18 as high attendance day, we want to communicate that attendance is important every day our schools are open.”
Research reflects that a child’s attendance record is one of the strongest single predictors of their academic success. By attending class regularly, a student is more likely to keep up with daily lessons, assignments, and achieve academic benchmarks on time.
The importance of daily attendance is clearly demonstrated in math classes where content knowledge is learned sequentially to gain mathematical understanding. If absences occur, a student misses some of this knowledge and may have difficulty fully understanding new concepts. Some students may be able to catch up, but others may fall behind because they have missed crucial steps in learning.
Students with irregular attendance may not develop the responsibility, self-discipline & effective work skills that are essential for success in school and life. They tend to fall behind and are continuously struggling to catch up. This diminishes their confidence and attitude toward learning. Students who accumulate unexcused absence events may be petitioned to the court system to address truancy.
School attendance is a both a parent and student responsibility. Parents can help by instilling the habit of attending school every day at an early age and by staying interested in what their child is doing in school from day one all the way through graduation. Parents should stay involved by monitoring their child’s progress and grades, contacting teachers with questions or concerns, and attending school functions and meetings.
For older students, being in school every day gives them a chance to learn more about college and other post-secondary opportunities, and to perform to their highest potential on important exams they need to build a successful academic record.
The school district offers parents access to Infinite Campus Parent Portal to help monitor attendance and classroom performance. The free online web application, also available as an app on iPhone, provides detailed data on daily absences and grades a student earns in class. Parents and guardians may contact their child’s school for more information on this service.