Why School Attendance Matters for Kids, Parents and Community

Students who miss 10 percent of school days are considered chronically absent. That is an average of two days a month or a total of 18 days over the school year. In Oklahoma, 11.7 percent of students are chronically absent. Developing good attendance habits early is important because chronic absenteeism goes up with age—from 9.5 percent in elementary school to 16.1 percent for high school students.


“Chronic absence is an early warning indicator for low achievement and high school dropout,” says Kathy Seibold, ImpactTulsa executive director. “Studies show chronic absenteeism is more predictive of school dropout than test scores.”


Being in the classroom is an important family responsibility. Ensure that your child is engaged in school by:

  • Proactively scheduling doctor appointments and family events around school hours
  • Practicing a regular bedtime and morning schedule
  • Communicating with your child about the importance of being in school every day
  • Utilizing school resources like the bus and breakfast to make getting to school on time easier


Attendance affects your child’s success!


Is your child present and engaged in the classroom? Poor attendance can influence whether children are reading proficiently by the end of third grade or being held back. Nationally, students who miss 10 percent or more days in early grades score 60 points below their peers in third grade reading tests. By ninth grade, absenteeism is a better predictor of dropping out of high school than eighth grade test scores.


“When children are consistently present in the classroom, they are part of a greater learning community that ensures their success,” said Seibold. “By prioritizing school attendance, parents can ensure their children are academically successful, socially engaged and community minded.”


Local nonprofit ImpactTulsa is working to change the culture of absenteeism by launching an attendance campaign. This campaign aims to use data to target student populations with chronic absenteeism. With the help of community partners, ImpactTulsa is supporting teachers and school districts by aligning resources to influence change directly with students.


“In the classroom, students are working toward academic achievement and engaged citizenship,” says Seibold. “This sets students up for high school graduation, college, the workforce and the bright futures that await them.”


Visit attendancetulsa.com to learn more about the importance of attendance and tips on decreasing chronic absenteeism.


Sponsored by ImpactTulsa