With a month’s worth of attention on the importance of positive attendance, St. Lucie Public Schools and Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County unite in their message to support making attendance a priority throughout the entire school year. “September is Attendance Awareness Month. However, with September drawing to a close, we don’t want to lose sight of the importance for our students to be in school every day of every month in order to enhance their opportunities for success,” explained St. Lucie Public Schools Superintendent E. Wayne Gent.
Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County, Truancy Team and Director of Prevention Services Linda Soto could not agree more. “We are strong advocates for positive academic habits that support students’ success in school and in life. Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Lucie County takes pride in not only our Club members but in all children in St. Lucie County. We believe all children are capable of success and it begins with positive role models.” ATTENDANCE MATTERS!
Here are some things you can do to make school attendance a priority:
- Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day, make that the expectation.
- 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.
- Don’t let your child stay home unless truly sick. Complaints of headaches or stomach aches may be signs of anxiety.
Help your teen stay engaged.
- Find out if your child feels engaged by his classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. 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 know how to contact you.
- Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
- Encourage meaningful afterschool activities, including sports and clubs.
- Communicate with the school.
- Know the school’s attendance policy – incentives and penalties.
- Talk to teachers 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.