School attendance matters: Parent resource

Regular attendance is very important in elementary school, even in kindergarten. During these years, one day of missed school equals 2.5 days of lost math learning and 1.5 days of lost language and literacy learning. Attendance is also important for developing social skills. Research shows that children who are often absent from school tend to have lower levels of social skills compared to other students. Children who are often absent also said that they felt more stressed at school and like they don’t belong at school.

What can parents/caregivers do?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been an incresease in school absences. in the 2021-22 school year, almost one in three Ohio students had a high number of absences. Parents often don’t realize how much school their children have missed. Here are some tips:

Tell your child how important regular attendance is.

Lay out school clothes the night before and have a regular bedtime. This can make the mornings easier.

Try not to schedule vacations during school time. When possible, try to schedule doctor’s appointments outside of school hours. If your child is home sick, ask the teacher about makeup work or things to do at home.

Make sure the school has your contact information. Stay in touch with teachers about academic progress, attendance, and behavior.

Want to learn more?

Read Dr. Ansari’s research brief which breaks down the research on this topic in a short digestible format.

We’ve also published a quick guide for teachers and school staff with tips for how they can help reduce absences.