School Attendance Matters
Benefits of Regular Attendance
Making daily attendance and punctuality a priority is important for students of all ages. We are urging students to strive for fewer than five absences this school year.
Help your child succeed! There is a direct correlation between regular school attendance and academic achievement, so help your child build the habit of regular attendance. Start good habits when your child is young – begin stressing the importance and consistency of punctuality and daily attendance for your Pre-K student. This can lead to good attendance during the elementary and high school years and carry forward to college and career.
How many absences are too many? If a student misses two days a month, this adds up to 20 absences per year or more than 10% of the school year. Students who miss 10% of days (18 days if enrolled for the full school year) are considered to be chronically absent.
Making daily attendance and punctuality a priority is important for students of all ages. Students who are chronically absent are at risk for falling behind, not meeting with academic success, and are 7.4x more likely to drop out of high school. Research shows that poor attendance in the early years can keep young children from reading proficiently by the end of third grade.
Attendance at HPS
As part of the district’s turnaround plan, we have launched new programs and initiatives to increase the quality of instruction and expand choices for students. For all students to fully benefit from learning experiences at school, we need students to attend school on time every day. Although we recognize that illness or an emergency may cause a student to be absent periodically or for an extended period of time, we hope these situations are limited. Absences and tardies negatively affect the students’ academic progress. If families face specific attendance challenges, our staff is available to partner with families to find appropriate supports. The key is to be in close communication and partner with the school to support our students’ success.
In regards to school attendance, Massachusetts state law says:
- All children 6-16 years old must attend school every day.
- School districts are required to monitor school attendance.
- In cases of chronic absences (missing 10% or more days of school), school districts report potential cases of educational neglect or children in need of assistance to other state agencies.
In Holyoke Public Schools, we expect families to:
- Send children to school on time every day. We strongly recommend that students strive to have no more than five absences in the school year. This is our Strive For 5 campaign.
- Notify the school about planned absences and bring documentation of excused absences to school within three days of the absence. In the case of routine medical appointments within the Pioneer Valley, we expect students to be in school before or after the appointment.
- Reserve excused absences for emergencies or extraordinary circumstances (such as illness, bereavement or religious holidays). Principals have discretion to excuse absences for other specific reasons. Please note that extended family vacations are not excused.
- Communicate regularly with teachers and plan to make-up missed time and school work.