Evaluate your attendance policy during the summer months

What’s a sure-fire way to improve academic achievement? Research says: Increase student attendance! Take time this summer to get parents involved in evaluating and updating your attendance policy. To get started, recruit a team of parents and staff and invite them to meet for discussions about attendance. (You may also consider having students serve on the committee.) Have copies of your current policy and your state and district policies to distribute. Include attendance statistics for your school. Ask the committee to see if your policy differs in any way from the state and district policies. Then have them examine your policies and procedures for:
  • Excused absences.
  • Unexcused absences.
  • Absences due to sickness.
  • Absences for college visits.
  • Absences for family vacations.
  • Absences for a death in the family.
  • Absences for athletic events.
  • Making up work and tests by students who have been absent.
As your committee reviews your policy, discuss how consistently issues related to attendance are handled throughout your school. Does each member of your staff have the same expectations for student attendance? Do they all have similar policies and consequences for students who do not comply? Once your committee has revised your policy, publish it on your website, in your local paper and in your student handbook. Also publicize goals for improving attendance during the 2016 – 2017 academic year.

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