You Miss School, You Miss Out!
It is true! School attendance impacts student achievement academically, socially and emotionally. According to Attendance Works! (www.attendanceworks.org)
1. Your children can suffer academically if they miss 10 percent of school days or about 18 days. That can be just one day every two weeks, and that can happen before you know it.
2. It doesn't matter if these absences are excused or unexcused. They all represent time lost in the classroom and a lost opportunity to learn.
3. Attendance matters as early as kindergarten. Studies show many children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade can struggle academically in later years. They often have trouble mastering reading by the end of third grade.
4. Preshchool is a great time to start building a habit of good attendance. Studies show that poor attendance in preschool can predic absenteeism in later grades.
5. By middle and high school, chronic absence is a leading warning sing that a student will drop out.
6. Too many absent students can affect the whole classroom, creating churn and slowing down instruction.
Families can make a difference.
1. Families should avoid extended vacations that require your children to miss school. Try to line up vacations with the school's schedule. The same goes for doctor's appointments.
2. For younger children, you can set regular bedtime and morning routines. Make sure they get 9 to 11 hours of sleep. You can lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
3. For older children, you can help set homework and bedtime routines that allow for 8 1/2 to 9 1/2 hours of sleep. Make sure when the lights go out, so do the cell phones, video games and computers.
4. Get to know the teachers and administrators. With younger children, make sure you introduce your child to teachers before school starts and keep in touch with the teachers. For older students, school officials can help stay on top of academic progress and social contacts to make sure your child is staying on track.
5. Above all, set an example for your child. Show hime or her that attendance matters to you and that you won't allow an absence unless someone is truly sick. Don't ask older students to help with daycare and household errands.
6. Our schools can help. Please contact your child's Guidance Counselor if you need assistance.
Compulsory Attendance Requirements
Through the enactment of Act 16, the definition of compulsory school age was changed to “the period of a child’s life from the time the child’s parents elect to have the child enter school and which shall be no later than 6 years of age until the child reaches 18 years of age. The term does not include a child who holds a certificate of graduation from a regularly accredited, licensed, registered or approved high school.” 24 P.S. §13-1326.
Effective with the 2020-2021 school year, a child must comply with compulsory attendance requirements from age 6 to age 18. Specifically, a child who has attained the age of 6 on or before September 1 must enroll and attend school or begin a home school program that year. Additionally, any student less than 18 years of age must comply with compulsory school age requirements. The term “compulsory attendance” refers to the mandate that all children of compulsory school age having a legal residence in Pennsylvania must attend a day school in which the subjects and activities prescribed by the standards of the State Board of Education are taught in the English language, except in the following situations found in sections 1327, 1327.1, and 1330 of Pennsylvania’s Public School Code (School Code):
Attendance at a private trade school or private business school continuously through the entire term congruent with the school term of the resident school district and that meets the requirements set forth by the State Board of Education or the State Board of Career and Technical Education when:
The child is 15 and has approval from the district superintendent and the Secretary of Education, or
The child is 16 and has approval from the district superintendent.
Attendance at a school operated by a bona fide church or other religious body which provides a minimum of 180 days of instruction or 900 hours of instruction per year at the elementary level or 990 hours per year of instruction at the secondary level.
Privately tutored or home-schooled students provided a minimum of 180 days of instruction or 900 hours of instruction per year at the elementary level or 990 hours per year of instruction at the secondary level.
Enrollment in a day or boarding school which is accredited by an accrediting association approved by the State Board of Education.
Children who are 16 and regularly engaged in useful and lawful employment during the school session with a valid employment certificate. Regularly engaged means 35 or more hours per week of employment.
Children who have been examined by an approved psychological professional and identified to be unable to profit from further public school attendance and excused by the school board.
Children who are 15 who hold a permit approved by the school district to engage in farm work or domestic service in a private home.
Children who are 14 and satisfactorily completed the equivalent of the highest grade of elementary school in their district who hold a permit recommended by the district and approved by the Secretary of Education to engage in farm work or domestic service in a private home.