Create a School-Wide Culture of Attendance
As P2P Investors, it is our responsibility to create a culture of good attendance. The school’s culture often serves as a catalyst for school avoidance behaviors. The presence of bullying, fights, discriminatory practices or language, as well as poor student-teacher relationships all contribute to the student’s reluctance to attend school. Research suggests that efforts to improve school and community should focus on teacher-student relationships as well as the learning environment.
Engage Families Early
Not just early in the school year, but early in their schooling. Parents are typically more involved and easier to reach when children are young. The relationships that we build with our pre-K and Kindergarten students are essential in getting the message across about the importance of regular attendance. In the long-term, regular attendance helps children gain the foundational skills they need to better perform academically and develop good attendance habits. Students that have attendance problems from Pre-K through 2nd grade will begin to fall behind in reading by 3rd grade and in other subjects by 4th grade. Making early investments in developing good attendance behaviors can help reduce more expensive interventions later.
Build Positive Relationships
Building positive relationships with families establish a strong connection for the benefit of educating the children entrusted in our care. Consistent communication is key to a trusted partnership and having a clear understanding up front about what we can expect from each other helps establish common goals for the benefit of the student. When parents feel welcomed in a school and respected as a partner in their child’s education, they will be more willing to contribute and respond openly and positively.
Communicate Expectations and Support
Schools that have achieved improved attendance promote the importance of attending to students, parents, staff and other members of the school community at every opportunity. It is vital that we orient parents to school district policies and expectations for student attendance and on-time arrival. Counselors and CYS workers may be able to share contact information or make referrals to community agencies that are available to help families with health issues, homelessness, lack of transportation, or any other circumstance that is causing a student to miss school. We have a process in place where we are able to intervene when a student’s attendance begins to decline. We want parents to be our partners in reducing the level of absences.
Throughout the country, schools and communities have been able to reduce absenteeism when they monitor attendance data and work together to identify and address barriers that keep children from getting to school every day. Klein ISD is working with our students, their parents, and the community to ensure that EVERY student matters, EVERY day.