How Do You Get Students To Attend School?
posted by: Melissa | June 05, 2019, 07:15 PM   

No matter the age or grade, getting students to actually attend classes is one of the most challenging struggles a school will face. According to Attendance Works, more than 8 million students were chronically absent in the 2015-2016 school year. These absences can lead to lower test scores, a higher rate of failing a grade, and a higher rate of dropping out of school.


These facts hold true even when the student absences are technically counted as “excused” absences, making the need to keep students in class even more urgent. But how can you achieve that goal? How can you encourage a student who might decide to miss school show up instead?


This is a tougher question than it first appears. There are a number of factors that impact student attendance and not all of them are in the control of the school or district. For example, the air quality of a city can lead to higher rates of absenteeism, as can natural disasters. Still, many schools are tackling the problem heads-on.


In Detroit, superintendent Nikolai Vitti is planning to send out vans to offer rides to chronically absent students. In St. Louis, one school is also opting to lean heavily on the carrot approach. Bryan Hill Elementary has made a concerted effort to address student absences. Their attendance teams reach out to families of chronically absent students, and help to resolve the situations that are leading to absences. Wayman Tisdale Fine Arts Academy in Oklahoma tries to make school more engaging through its Club Fridays, where students can explore topics of interest to them.


Most inspiring, perhaps, is this school in Baltimore which despite being in one of the poorest neighborhoods has an absentee rate that’s a fraction of the schools nearby. They’ve managed this through wholesale school reform, which you can learn about through watching this Vice News video.


How does your school address student absenteeism?

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