APPLEGATE: The power of regular attendance

Published 8:30 am Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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The 2023-24 school year has officially begun, and with it comes the excitement of having students back in the classroom. This new beginning provides students with the opportunity to grow academically and socially, and one of the most influential factors in our ability to support their journeys starts on the very first day: good attendance. Success in school is not possible without showing up all day, every day.  Regular attendance can have a profound impact on your child’s academic achievement.

Consistent attendance leads to improved academic performance. When students are present in the classroom, they have the opportunity to engage with the curriculum firsthand, actively participate in discussions, and ask questions. Every lesson builds on the previous one, and a missed day can mean missing an experience that cannot easily be replicated. Regular attendance not only ensures that students stay up to date with their coursework but also helps them form strong academic habits that will serve them well throughout their lives.

Beyond the classroom, attendance instills essential life lessons. Punctuality, responsibility and commitment are qualities that are integral to success in education as well as in the professional world. By making a commitment to show up ready to learn each day, students learn the importance of putting in their best effort.

In order to underline the importance of attendance, our district, like all others, has attendance policies in place, outlined in our student handbook. Beyond falling behind in class and losing the valuable opportunities presented to students during their school day, absent students may be subjected to losing extracurricular opportunities, such as sports or field trips. If absences persist, students may not be able to progress in their academic careers, delaying their eventual graduation.  

That said, it’s highly important to recognize that there are also days where it is appropriate for students not to attend school. The health of our students is our top priority, so if a student is feeling sick, please keep them at home. Similarly, instances like family emergencies, medical leave or periods of bereavement are also exceptions and should be communicated to your child’s teacher. As much as attendance is vital to student success, we understand that there are times when other circumstances take precedence, and we’re happy to work with you and your child to make sure they are able to keep up with their academics during these times.

As we begin the new academic year, I urge families to prioritize regular attendance. Creating a routine that supports consistent school attendance sets the foundation for academic excellence. Encourage open communication with your children about the importance of attending school, and if an issue presents itself, please do not hesitate to reach out to your child’s teacher or principal. We look forward to our school year together and treating each school day as an investment in your child’s future. We hope that everyone is having a seamless transition into the new school year, and as always, Go Vikes!