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Why Attendance Matters Resources

Parents want their children to do well in school, but might not fully understand or make the connection between chronic absence and a student's academic achievement, even as early as kindergarten. Attendance Works has developed some helpful flyers to build those connections. 

To see a larger version of the handouts, please to the Attendance Works link. The following handouts are also available in CREOLE, CHINESE, SPANISH, TAGALOG, and VIETNAMESE at this link


Middle & High School

Elementary School

Is Your Child Missing School Due to Anxiety?

This video and more can be found on the Attendance Works site, including some videos in SPANISH. 

School Attendance, Truancy & Chronic Absenteeism: What Parents Need to Know - Includes 10 tips to get your child to school on time, every day

Attendance Tips for Parents - Very specific practices and strategies for families to support their child's attendance

Every Student Present - Resources for parents on the importance of regular attendance and the missed opportunities for students when they are chronically absent

The Association Between Anxiety and Poor School Attendance 

School Avoidance Alliance - Educating families and parents on school avoidance best practices and evidence-based strategies 

School Anxiety and Refusal - Advice on how to support your child if they are anxious about attending school

Child Mind Institute - "How Does Anxiety Affect Kids in School?"

The Link Between School Attendance and Good Health

Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on Attendance

Nationwide, the impacts of the pandemic on attendance has been monumental. Data from several states reveals dramatic increases in chronic absence, which is defined as missing 10% or more of school for any reason. For example, between the school years 2018-19 and 2021-22, chronic absence increased from 12.1% to 30% in California, 12.9% to 27.7% in Massachusetts, 19.7% to 38.5% in Michigan, and other states show similar increases. Not only does chronic absence take a significant toll on the academic success and well-being of students, they miss the opportunity to create relationships with peers and school staff and gain access to resources available at school. A University of Chicago Consortium on School Research study shows that a student's chance of graduating high school drops by 20% for every week of school they miss. Chronic absence is associated with declines in academic engagement, social emotional development and executive functioning. 


Anxiety is a Top Reason High School Students Miss School 

Aside from physical illness and bad weather, anxiety tops the list for the reason that high school students missed school in the past year, per a study from the EdWeek Research Center conducted in 2023. They report feeling too sad or depressed to attend. The current mental health crisis among youth has been labeled by the U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, as "the defining public health crisis of our time." 4 out of 10 high school students (as of 2021 and numbers continue rising) report feeling persistently sad or hopeless and 1/3 of our youth are experiencing poor mental health, with 22% of students seriously considering suicide. (EdWeek Research Center Survey, September 2023).

Stress over finishing schoolwork weights on 1/3 of our students, with 28% finding stress from worry about grades and test results. 22% of students label concerns about physical appearance as having a negative impact on their mental health, while 21% struggle with anxiety over societal issues and events in the news. Social media is a major contributor to heightening the levels of anxiety. What we know is that learning and mental health are intertwined and stressors make it difficult for students to perform well in school. 

It is critical to pay attention to the mental health of our students, not only in our schools, but in our communities and homes.