Supporting good attendance at school
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Q: We have a son in high school. I was shocked to get
a call from school about problems with his attendance. Occasions do come up when
he has to miss a day or a class, but I always send a note to school about it. It
appears he has been missing more than we are aware, and our conversations with
him just yield a dismissive shrug. How do we handle this?
A: It's as simple as this: Students
can't learn if they're not in school.
Your son stayed up too late and now he
wants to sleep in. He has a big basketball game and wants to rest.
He has an important math test and he hasn't finished studying. All
these are excuses many teens give for missing school.
Some parents even cooperate when
their teens don't want to go to school. Don't do it.
When your son is absent from school
he may be able to copy missed notes, complete missed worksheets and
receive help after school. However, other important aspects of the
lessons are lost forever. Absent students miss out on discussions,
questions raised, explanations and much more. Students fall behind
and sometimes never recover. Learning builds day by day. What your
son misses in one class session is needed as a foundation for what
he will learn in the next session.
play a big role in supporting good school attendance. Here are
important points to remember:
- Tell your son that school is his
most important job at this time in his life and that you expect
him to be there every day.
- Avoid scheduling family trips or
doctor appointments during school hours.
- Make sure your son eats healthy
foods and gets enough sleep and exercise.
- Don't accept excuses for why your
son "must" miss or be late for school.
- Discuss what happened at school
- Support school rules and
consequences for skipping class and being tardy.
- Make sure the school knows how to
reach you if your son is absent.
- Set a good example. Go to work
every day yourself.
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Research shows that attendance is
the single most important factor in school success.
Attendance is a habit. Teens who get
in the habit of coming to school every day will also show up for
work on time. Teens who think they can come and go as they please
may never be successful in a job. So make sure your son keeps going
to school. It's an important lesson in responsibility he needs to
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Advisor, go to
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© Copyright 2005, The Parent
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