September is Attendance Awareness Month, and HISD schools have worked hard to make sure students are in class. Some schools have used incentives, such as parties, to increase attendance.
Students at Shadowbriar ES donned their favorite pajamas on Fri., Sept. 27 – everything from Hello Kitty and Sonic the Hedgehog to the Buc-ee’s beaver – for a party to celebrate achieving a 98-percent attendance rate. Principal Stephanie Davis said the 74 percent of students who had perfect attendance will get another treat – a popsicle party where they can win prizes.
Isaacs ES teachers and parents know how important attendance is and the school had 99.2 percent attendance on Mon., Sept. 23. The school also offered a pizza party.
At HISD, missing more than 10 percent or 17 days of school a year can lead to student being retained, but more importantly, it represents lost time in the classroom and a lost opportunity to learn.
• A child is considered chronically absent if they miss two or more days a month. That includes unexcused and excused absences.
• Attendance matters as early as kindergarten. Studies show that children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade have trouble mastering reading.
• By grade 6, chronic absence is a proven warning sign that a student is at risk for dropping out.
• By grade 9, good attendance can predict graduations rates even better than 8th grade test scores.