Tips for Parents – Improving Your Child's Attendance
- Avoid the use of stimulants in the evening, such as caffeine and sugar, especially for younger children. Have the younger children use the restroom before going to bed.
- Take baths at night and lay out clothing for the next day to avoid clothing wars. Choose outfits, socks, shoes, as well as accessories together.
- Pack up school items for the following day including backpack, lunch box, etc and place in designated spot.
- See that your child gets plenty of sleep each night with a regular bedtime and curfew. For teens, limit late nights.
- Keep the bedroom dark and quiet. Turn off or remove all electronic devices.
- Wake up early enough to allow for "quality time" with your children, review the plans for the day, and encourage your children to abide by all school and classroom rules.
- Use an alarm clock, preferably loud and annoying, to wake up your children in the mornings. It would be helpful to place the clock on the opposite side of the room so that they cannot just hit the snooze button without getting out of bed.
- Let sunlight enter your children's rooms by opening the blinds/ curtains. This can help get them awake and moving.
- Allocate time for brushing teeth, combing hair, and dressing. A timer may be used for younger children.
- Allow enough time to eat breakfast and leave the house on time in order to ensure timeliness to school.
- Allow for "quality time" with your children and converse about the school day.
- Check daily for homework, permission slips, and school communication. Go through the child's backpack looking for these items.
- Schedule a consistent and/or designated time to complete homework/assignments. Make a comfortable spot for studying.
- Allow for play/social time or extracurricular involvement for healthy social and physical outlets.
Helpful Tips Regarding Student Attendance
- Help build your children's self-esteem/confidence/ image by encouraging daily and on-time attendance.
- Continually encourage your children to abide by all school and classroom rules and maintain regular contact with their teacher, guidance counselor, and administrator.
- Always maintain open lines of communication with your children and spend quality time with them regularly.
- Identify stressful situations in your children's lives and find healthy outlets for stress.
- Teach your children to respect themselves and others by providing positive role models.
- State clear rules and expectations for your children's behavior at home and school.
- For the child that does not want to attend school, try to determine the reason. Consult with school personnel for their opinion and try to resolve the issue, and set up short-and long-term goals to encourage regular attendance.
(Adapted from Cambridge Research Group, Ltd. "Ten Ways to be a Better Parent," by Lina Ingraham, CHE, and USA Weekend article "Five Things you Need to Know About Getting Kids Out the Door in the Morning," by Hannah Charry, August 10-12, 2007)
Communicating with the School and Monitoring your Children's Progress
- Be proactive by attending school events and parent/teacher conferences.
- If you are aware of your child's absence and/or tardiness (illness, vacation, flat tire, etc.), notify the attendance clerk and/or call the school's attendance line. After the student returns to school from an absence, provide a note (keep a copy of note for your records).
- If your child is frequently ill, obtain a doctor's note to excuse the absences (keep a copy for your records).
- Utilize the Parent Portal to access secure, password-protected Internet data for the monitoring of your child's grades, assignments, attendance, discipline, academic history, graduation, verification, standardized test results, and to communicate with your children's teacher.
- Use your child's school webpage to access the teachers' webpages for information about syllabus, homework assignments, etc.
- Monitor your student's attendance daily or weekly via Parent Portal or communication with the school staff (attendance clerk, teacher, etc.).