Fall into good attendance habits; high attendance day set for September 20th

September is the perfect month to fall into good attendance habits.   The Kentucky Directors of Pupil Personnel organization sponsors a high attendance day each year to emphasize that consistency is key to good attendance.  This year, high attendance day in Kentucky is set for Wednesday, September 20.


On High Attendance Day, Kentucky’s public elementary, middle and high schools compete in small-school or large-school categories. Six winners will be determined statewide based on each individual school’s performance,  regardless of its district’s showing. The school in each category with the highest percentage attendance for September 20 will receive an award.  Locally, the Knox County Public Schools will be honoring those schools with the highest attendance at the September meeting of the Board of Education.

Students who are at school every day and are on time have a higher success rate than those who aren’t. Attendance Works is national and state initiative from the Child and Family Policy Center that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success. Attendance Works has designated September as Attendance Awareness Month.

Why is September linked to high attendance?   A recent attendance study published by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium found that consistency of the patterns of absenteeism suggests that attendance habits established in September persist over the whole year.


Students who in September missed:

  • Fewer than 2 days, continued to average fewer than 2 days absent each month, and over the year were absent an average of 10 days,
  • Fewer than 2 days, continued to average fewer than 2 days absent each month, and over the year were absent an average of 10 days,
  • Between 2 and 4 days, missed 2 to 3 days each month, totaling 25 days for the year, and
  • More than 4 days, missed an average of 6 to 9 days each month, leading to a total of 70 days on average for the year.


Attendance Works notes that getting your child to school on-time every day – unless they are sick – is something families can do to ensure their child has a chance to succeed in school. While others can help, parents are the bottom line.


Families can support good attendance by:

  • Establishing and sticking to the basic routines (going to bed early, waking up on time, etc.) that will help your child develop the habit of on-time attendance.
  • Talking to your child about why going to school every day is critical and important unless they are sick. If your child seems reluctant to go to school, find out why and work with the teacher, administrator or afterschool provider to get them excited about going to school.
  • Coming up with backup plans for who to turn to (another family member, a neighbor or fellow parents) to help you get your child to school if something comes up (e.g. another child gets sick, your car breaks down).
  • Reaching out for help if you are experiencing tough times (e.g. transportation, unstable housing, loss of a job, health problems) that make it difficult to get your child to school. Other parents, your child’s teacher, principal, social worker, school nurse, afterschool providers or community agencies can help you problem solve or connect you to

a needed resource.

  • Working with the teacher to make sure your child has an opportunity to learn and make up for the academics missed if he or she is absent.


Knox County has changed its attendance policy in recent years to emphasize the importance of being in school every day in order to participate in extracurriculuar activities.   Students who miss six (6) or more unexcused days each year are no longer eligible to participate in athletics and activities such as attendance at prom.  Tardies was added to the policy for the current year, with twenty (20) unexcused being the maximum students can accumulate before being ineligible to participate.

For more information about attendance policies at your child’s school, contact the school’s attendance clerk or the Knox County Board of Education at (606)546-3157.