Perhaps you want to take a break from the tough schedule of high school, and you are wondering how many absences will be too much, you are in the right place. Good attendance is vital for many reasons. Your child receives the maximum benefits of education when they are always present in school. Several studies are already pointing to a strong link between consistent attendance and academic performance. You don’t want your child to lag behind in any way; hence, the need to discourage truancy in school.
If you are wondering how to handle absenteeism among high school students, this article is right for you. Throughout this article, we will review some of the lead causes of truancy, as well as offer workable solutions that you can adopt to encourage your child to attend school. Read on to see everything you’ll need to learn about high school absenteeism and its effects on your kid’s academic performance.
Importance of Attendance in High School
One of the most powerful ways to prepare a child for success in life is by helping them to achieve regular attendance. There are many benefits attached to encouraging your children to attend school regularly, from better academic performance to developing healthy life habits. Bear in mind that a good education often serves as the foundation for ending the cycle of poverty in impoverished societies. The following are some of the most popular importance of attendance in high school.
Improves Academic Performance
This one is a no-brainer. Students looking to maintain a high-performance level or to improve their performance do not joke with their attendance. As a high school student, you know how important attending classes is to your academic performance. Too many high school absences result in not being available when important topics are taught. This will make catching up very difficult for you. However, regular attendance helps you to follow every topic from its introduction. Being around when topics are introduced makes it easier for you to understand such topics on the go. Therefore, it’s easy to see that frequent attendance improves grades and understanding skills.
Makes Work Easier for Teachers
No teacher wants the extra work of going over a topic twice or thrice for absentee students to catch up. Most teachers find it challenging to teach the class and build students’ skills when several students are absent. This is why they’ll often encourage students to be in regular attendance to understand the topics from scratch. Additionally, regular attendance presents teachers the opportunity to properly examine students’ understanding of each topic before moving to the next.
Regular School Attendance Reduces Crime Susceptibility
When students are frequently absent from school, they face the increased potential to meet criminals and street hooligans that will introduce them to a criminal lifestyle. In addition to that, being idle is a good motivation for anybody to cause problems in their community. Hence, the need to encourage regular school attendance among high school students.
Helps Students to Develop Friendship and Other Social Skills
The activities of social clubs and organizations in high school are often geared towards developing strong social skills. However, students have to be in attendance to build these skills. Many students develop leadership skills and care for the community at a very young age by attending these clubs. Some of these clubs even require that students meet a set minimum attendance before they can belong to them.
Indeed, absences affect students in so many ways. Even two absences in a month can increase the tendency of a student dropping out of high school. Studies show that when elementary students miss an average of two school days per month, it becomes difficult for them to keep up with their peers, therefore falling short in grades and reading skills.
Making regular school attendance a priority puts you in the right position to prepare your child for success throughout life. If your child is continually absent from school, then it’ll be important to find out why. Finding out the reasons for your child’s absence from school will help you handle the situation better.
How Many Days of School Does an Average Student Miss?
The importance of attending school can never be overemphasized. It’s so important that if you are not there, learning becomes very difficult. This is why the law states that parents must ensure students’ regular attendance at the schools they are registered at. Failure to live up to this responsibility can lead to legal actions taken against the parent. Therefore, regular attendance is not just important for students; it is also important for parents.
Kids often show reluctance to attend school. Some will even pretend to be ill to avoid going to school, without realizing that it has consequences on their parents. Educational experts suggest that parents work with school authorities to resolve any issues that would potentially make a student avoid going to school.
In the United States, it can be difficult placing a particular definition on regular attendance, considering that percentage can change at different times of the year. However, there seems to be a consensus that 96% is good and passes as regular attendance. On the other hand, the definition of absenteeism is relatively straightforward, with anything below 85% considered as excessive absenteeism. Students will become subject to additional scrutiny if they have below 90% absentee record. Parents can soon expect a knock on their door from the educational authorities if the absence is not justified.
If your school absences are due to illness or other circumstances that may prevent attendance, the school can take those into account while supporting students to reach full potential. The truth is that there’s no set number of days that a student should be absent. You need to attend school as often as possible if you want to perform at your best. However, absenteeism of up to 10% would raise serious concerns, especially if your absence becomes sporadic. Many schools would start asking questions once your attendance drops to below 85%.
How Many Days of School Can You Miss in High School?
The number of days that a high school student can miss school varies from state to state. In general, most schools consider more than 10% absence as chronic absenteeism or chronic absence. This would typically translate to around 18 days. Missing school for up to this number of days can affect your child moving up a grade.
Anything above 13 days of an excused or unexcused absence is considered truancy in school, and students become liable to truancy letters. These letters are usually automated and sent from the software.
What Happens if You Miss More Than 10 Days of School?
Again, depending on where you live, missing school for that long would affect your kid and you. Missing school in the early grades often has a snowball effect. It usually prepares kids to fall behind in the fundamental reading skills that they’ll need to move to the next level.
Recent studies show that the impact can be massive. A study conducted in California looked into the cases of students reported to be chronically absent in their first grade. The study showed that only one in six of such students were proficient readers by the end of their third grade.
Some districts will send a truancy officer to your home if your child misses school for more than ten days without proper permission. Punishment for parents include fines and court appearance to explain why your child is out of school for that much.
Additionally, missing you much school puts your child at risk of being held back. That in itself can damage your child’s self-worth and self-esteem. If your child’s high school absences are due to illness, you should contact their school on time and inform them so that they can guide you on the right steps to take to avoid excessive lagging behind.
21 Examples of Excused and Unexcused Absences in High School
Excused absences are absences approved by both the school and the parents/guardian of a student. Absences due to illness or appointments that cannot be rescheduled to a non-school day can be excused if a student’s parent calls in to request that the absence of the student be excused. The local laws in many districts allow school personnel to request medical reports verifying a child’s illness if the child’s absence is due to a medical condition. The school must get a written notification or notification through a phone call on the day or the day following the student’s absence. Bear in mind that schools reserve the right to accept or deny an application for an excused absence. With that in mind, let’s look at examples of excused and unexcused absences in high school.
Examples of Excused Absences
- Illness (Some schools require medical statements for absences exceeding three days)
- Medical/dental appointments (Experts often recommend scheduling these appointments outside school hours.
- Religious instructions (a maximum of 3 hours per week)
- Required county/state court appointments
- Serious family emergencies
- Driver’s license test
- Sporting events/family vacations
- Special requests from parents/guardians.
- Job/employment interview
- Oversleeping due to alarm failure or any other reasons.
- Arriving school more than 10 minutes after the start of normal school activities without a valid reason
- Absence due to personal grooming appointments.
- Moving out of school during school time without obtaining permission from a school official.
- Running errands/shopping
- Going for driver’s education during regular school hours.
- Skipping proper procedure when leaving campus.
- Car trouble
- Going home to babysit or attend to other house chores.
- Family vacations without obtaining proper permission from the school.
- Needing rest or sleep.
- Missing the bus/ ride to school.
Schools typically put a call across to parents if their kids are absent from school thrice without excuse. The purpose of this call is usually to assist in solving whatever problem that’s causing the continuous absence and to notify the parent on the next steps to take.
Wrapping Things Up: How Many Absences are Allowed in High School?
Having talked so much about the repercussions of chronic absenteeism from school, it is now obvious that both parents and students have a role to play. If you find out that your child is missing school, try to talk to them to understand the importance of attending school and find out the reasons behind their continuous absence from school. If the need arises, set up a meeting with your child’s teacher and talk to them about your child’s absence.
Many students skip school because of undiagnosed learning disabilities that make them feel like they can’t learn. Talking to them about the issue can help you figure this out. As a parent, you have a duty to create a convenient learning space for your children both in school and home. Whatever the reason for your child’s constant absenteeism, remember always to keep the communication line open with them and their teachers. High school years can be difficult, and it is best if your child is assured of your support as they walk through this stage of life.