Attendance Matters in the Jackson School District
We all want students to do well in school. However, parents sometimes don't fully appreciate how students absences impact learning. There is a direct connection between student absences and student achievement, including the:
- Ability to read on level in elementary grades
- Ability to keep up with peers in course work
- Liklihood to graduate
- Liklihood to have positive attendance in college and the workplace
Jackson School District Absence Limits:
- The threshold for being designated as “chronically absent” is 18 absences per year (which is 10% of the school year) in grades K-8.
- For our high schools, if a student has nine absences, it will result in a loss of credit for the course. If it is a full-year course, loss of credit takes place at 18 absences.
Why Does Attendance Matter?
Does this mean it’s OK for my child to miss more than three weeks of school?
- NO. The goal for any student is to be absent only when absolutely necessary. The district understands that there will be times when a student must be absent -- such as for illness, family matters or emergencies, educational research or activities. The goal is to limit absences to only those that are absolutely necessary.
What’s the big deal with being absent once in awhile during the school year?
- "Seat time" matters. If your child misses just two days a month for the school year, it may not seem like a lot of time. However, he or she will be considered “chronically absent’’ and would miss out on valuable instruction time.
- In order for students to learn and achieve their fullest potential, it is critical that they are in school and engaged in the learning process. Research shows that student absences impact a child’s ability to succeed in school. In addition, research shows that chronic absenteeism from school is a primary cause of low academic achievement and a powerful predictor of a student’s risk of dropping out of school. (Source: NJ DOE Guidance for Reporting Student Absences and Calculating Chronic Absenteeism, May 2017)
But my child always does well in school. Will being absent really affect him/her?
- Yes. Learning is sequential - an absence is a missed opportunity to learn something your child will need in order to understand more difficult material later.
- “Make up work’’ helps them fulfill the requirements of the unit they are learning, but too many absences can cause students to fall behind.
What if they are sick? Or visiting colleges? Or involved in activities that take them away from school?
- It is VERY important for parents to understand that if students are sick, they should NOT come to school. For example, all students should be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine before they come back to school.
- We understand that there are times when absence is unavoidable. Our Attendance Review Committees will continue to monitor student attendance, alert parents to accruing absences and develop action plans for improved attendance at school.
- Our policies and procedures related to attendance have not changed. Only the number of absences permitted has been changed.
Did You Know?
Resources and Information about Student Attendance:
(Used with permission of Attendance Works: http://www.attendanceworks.org)
Elementary Parents - Did You Know?:
- Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
- Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read.
- Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
- Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
- Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
- See Attendance Works: Help Your Child Succeed in School: Build the Habit of Good Attendance Early)
Middle and High School Parents - Did You Know?:
- Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
- Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
- Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.
- See Attendance Works: Pay Attention to Attendance: Keep Your Child On Track in Middle and High School