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Attendance Matters

Attendance is a critical factor in any child's school success. Children should attend school every day, except in cases of illness or emergency. It is impossible to replace the learning that happens on any school day with make-up work.

Regular attendance and promptness are good habits that are expected and appreciated at all levels of schooling and in the workplace. This year, make school a priority in your household. Commit to excellence in attendance. Your child's future depends on it!

What is Good Attendance?

Good attendance at Mitchell means that your student is in school at least 95% of the time or at least 170 days.

There are 365 days in the calendar year, meaning that you have 187 non-school days a year for your appointments, shopping, and trips. Save the 178 days of school to support your child's education and their chance of success.

Attendance Matrix
Percent Attendance Days in School Days Absent Quality of Attendance Chance of Success
100% 178

"Well done!" 

Best
95% 168 9

"Well done!"

Best
90% 160 18

"I'm worried."

Lessened
85% 151 27

"I'm worried."

Lessened
80% 142 36

"I'm very concerned."

Severely impacted

75%  133 45

"I'm very concerned."

Severely impacted

 

Attendance Tips

Did you know:

  • Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay on track to graduation.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with schoolwork, dealing with mistreatment or facing other serious problems.
  • By 6th grade, absenteeism is a sign that a student may drop out of high school.
  • By 9th grade, regular attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th-grade test scores.
  • Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
  • Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.

What you can do:

  • Make school attendance and arriving on time a priority. 
  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day and on time.  Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework, getting a good night’s sleep, and waking with enough time to arrive at school by 7:40 a.m.
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Try not to schedule dental and medical appointments during the school day.  Our 1:55 p.m. dismissal allows for appointments to be scheduled after school.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomachaches may be signs of anxiety.
  • Help your child stay engaged.  The best way for this to happen is for you to be engaged – attend PTO meetings, help in the classroom, attend our family engagement activities such as Fall Festival, Explora, Math & Science Night, and Literacy Night.
  • Find out if your child feels engaged by his classes and feels safe from mistreatment. Make sure he/she is not missing class because of behavioral issues and school discipline policies. If any of these are problems, work with your school. 
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers and the office know how to contact you.  Keep your contact information current.
  • Communicate with the school.  Make use of the communication binder to communicate with our staff.
  • Review Mitchell’s attendance policy.  It can be found on our website in the Family Handbook section.
  • Talk to teachers or the counselor if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.  
  • Check on your child's attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.
  • Ask for help from school officials, afterschool programs, other parents or community agencies if you’re having trouble getting your child to school.

For more information, contact APS Truancy Unit Program Manager Ron Lucero at 505-855-9794 or Ron.Lucero@aps.edu.

Additional Advice

Be aware that ANY COMBINATION of 5 absences, tardies, and/or early dismissals in one semester is cause for concern. District policy states that excessive absences may result in a recommendation for retention and/or be reported to the Children’s Court Division of the District Court Division of the District Court.

We emphasize and recognize the importance of regular and prompt school attendance simply because it does make a difference! When your child is absent from school, he/she may miss more than the day’s lessons. Class discussions can be just as valuable. If your child is truly sick, he/she should stay home, of course. But missing school for any other reason can become a bad habit.

Studies show that children who have poor attendance in the elementary years are much more likely to drop out of high school later. You can show your child how important you think good attendance is. Schedule appointments and vacations around school hours!

The first and last few minutes in the classroom are generally some of the most important. Arriving late means directions for the day and introduction of new concepts are missed. Leaving early means missing reminders and clarification regarding homework assignments and upcoming events.

If your child must stay home due to illness, ask the teacher for assignment to be sent home. If you ask for this in the morning when you call them in sick, homework can usually be available for pickup that afternoon. Be sure to call the school and notify them of absences so that they will be documented.

Also, keep verification of doctor’s appointments so you can provide documentation to the school. We must work together to teach children responsibility and the value of education.