Project Lead, Attendance Innovation Campaign – Attending school on a regular basis is important for the positive development of academic, language, social, and work-related skills in children. Schools offer a structured setting for academic development, language rich environment, opportunities to develop social competencies, and experiences that nurture skills such as persistence, resiliency, problem-solving, and the ability to work with others to accomplish goals.
It is well-known that students who attend school on a regular basis, missing five or fewer days over the year, score higher on standardized and school-level assessments of achievement. These students often graduate from high school and are much more likely to become employed following the completion of school. However, despite the positive incentives for maintaining regular school attendance, thousands of students across Alberta demonstrate problematic levels of school absenteeism and tardiness.
There are approximately 180 instructional days in one school year and teachers have a large amount of curriculum content to cover within that timeframe. Given teachers share their knowledge and passion for learning on a daily basis, students who miss or are late for school are placed at a relative deficit for lost instructional time and valuable learning opportunities. According to the research, students who miss 10 percent of instructional days are placed at significant risk for academic and social challenges. This means, regardless of the reason for absence, students who miss 18 days over the year will likely be off-track in their learning. Thankfully, there are many ways in which absences can be combatted by families, schools and communities. If you need help getting your children to school, are an educator or administrator who needs help working with students who miss school, or a community leader who values the role of school attendance in fostering successful citizens, please check out the following links for useful tips.