While it might appear like normal that students have to attend classes to learn, persistent absenteeism persist in schools. Students who are constantly absent are at serious risk of underperforming in school. Persistent absenteeism occurs across all the levels. In the initial grades, poor attendance could impact social and emotional learning. It could also avert students from achieving key milestones such as reading, which is an effective indicator for future academic success. It could eventually result in students dropping out.
The reasons for persistent absenteeism are diverse. A school system may not be capable of addressing every aspect that affects school attendance, although school authorities could strategically check absenteeism. Here are a few methods to reduce absenteeism.
Inform attendance expectations
The initial step is to precisely communicate school attendance expectations to students and parents. It would be prudent to explain the significance of attendance and why attending school is important. The school authorities must set a measurable attendance objective and frequently monitor progress toward that objective.
Create an internal team
A team to monitor attendance is necessary to check absenteeism. The team must assess attendance daily, monitor progress, and communicate with parents & students as appropriate. Parents should be informed about any absence at the earliest.
In order to avert small issues from becoming larger issues, it is also useful to develop and establish internal systems to instantly alert the school authorities if a specific student is absent for more than a certain period of time. This would trigger an immediate intervention such as a meeting with the parent. During the meeting, create an attendance action plan, emphasize accountability, and convince the parent that it is in the child’s best interest.
Establish a more positive school culture
Students must feel happy and safe when they are in school. This would definitely result in higher attendance and improved academic performance. Developing a positive school culture would encourage students to participate in extracurricular and educational activities.
Establishing a system to collect and track data would save teachers significant hours of time and enable school authorities to assess the underlying reason for absenteeism.
Deliver support systems
Some students might want additional support. The internal team must suggest specific interventions for students who are absent or who have lost significant classroom sessions due to suspension.
By adopting a proactive approach, schools would be able to determine requirements and address them at the earliest to prevent persistent absenteeism. When the attendance records of children improve, they would have more time for learning and enhance their career opportunities.