SCHOOL ATTENDANCE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
By Hilda Garnica, Data Analyst, and Rachel Donatelli, Child Welfare and Attendance Supervisor
Having a good school attendance is an easy yet meaningful way for your child to thrive in school. Daily, on-time school attendance has a real impact on a child’s learning process because the teachers’ lessons are designed for your child’s continuous exposure to carefully crafted learning programs. If your child’s attendance has become a challenge, you are not alone. We are your partners, and together, we can help students succeed.
What You Need to Know
- Excessive absences can indicate that a student is not feeling connected to school, struggling with learning, or facing challenges.
- Daily and on-time attendance helps support a student’s connection to school.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is a leading sign that a student is likely to drop out of high school.
- Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can dramatically impact a child’s success.
- Attendance is a life skill that will help your child in high school, in college, and in the workforce.
The Good News
- We are here to help.
- Together, we can help your child — our student—feel more connected to school and stay on track in learning.
What You Can Do
- Call, email, or visit your school office if attendance challenges begin or when you have a concern.
- Know who your child is spending time with. Skipping school can be a result of peer pressure or feelings of isolation.
- Encourage your child to participate in meaningful after-school activities offered at school and in the community.
- Review your child’s schedule and determine if involvement in too many activities is affecting school attendance.
What We Can Do
- Work with you and your family to find solutions.
- Develop a plan with you to help your family reduce barriers to attendance.
- Connect your family with support services and resources provided by your child’s school as well as in the community that can help support with maintaining better daily attendance.
1 absence = 6 hours
10 absences = 60 hours
20 absences = 120 hours
Madera Unified is committed to providing high academic achievement and ensuring a healthy school environment for all students. However, it is important that parents understand that when a student is absent EXCUSED or UNEXCUSED students lose valuable instructional time that sets them behind. Just one absence can set a student behind six hours of schoolwork.
According to California law, Education Code Section 48200, “every child from the age of six to eighteen is subject to compulsory full-time education … and shall attend a public full-time day school or continuation school for the full school day.”
Regular attendance is essential for a successful transition to the next grade level. Loss of learning can create gaps in a child’s knowledge that is essential for them to reach their full learning potential that will help define their future. Students who are frequently absent, arrive late, leave early or are taken out of school for extended leave, put their academic progress in jeopardy and as a result, the loss of learning may lead to failure to graduate.
The good news is that Madera Unified provides key individuals, at school sites, who can develop a plan to help you and your family. Parents and students may reach out to any of the following individuals to seek help.
In addition, Madera Unified has expanded their student support by adding a Health and Wellness Department. The department staff collaborates with schools and community partners to implement an array of prevention, mental health promotion, early intervention and support programs for students. Additionally, a school nurse is assigned to each school site.
The newly established Mobile Health Care Center provides an additional support strategy for ensuring students have access to health care needs. Students who have better physical and mental health conditions are more likely to attend school and be successful. Together we can help improve school attendance for a better future for our students!