Regular school attendance is important for both the school and the student. When students are out of school, they are missing vital information, and they can easily fall behind in their school work.
Decreased student attendance can also negatively affect a school. It can result in decrease in federal funds and a decrease in the school’s overall test scores and graduation rate. The following are things that teachers and the school district can do to encourage student attendance.
Get the parents involved
One of the best ways to improve student attendance is to get the parents involved. Parental involvement can improve student achievement no matter what their socio-economic levels, race, or parental education level. Parental involvement can also increase student attendance. When parents are actively involved in their children’s education, they make education and school attendance a priority.
Provide opportunities for parental involvement
There are ways that schools can increase parental involvement. They can encourage positive contact between parents and the school. They can do this by sending newsletters home. These letters should include information about state test dates, upcoming school events, and simple parenting tips. Teachers can periodically phone parents. These calls should not be just to report misbehavior or failing grades. These calls should be positive in nature, and the teachers or other school officials should discuss some of the good things that the child has done. Schools can also get parents involved by providing volunteering opportunities, having Parent Teacher Association meetings, and opening resource centers for parents.
Make learning fun
Students are more likely to come to school if they like school. Teachers can help to increase student attendance by making their lessons more exciting and relevant to their everyday lives. The internet offers a wide range of lesson plans that can help to make learning more exciting.
Make students a partner in their own education
Allow students to make suggestions about topics they would like to study or project they would like to complete. Conduct student surveys periodically. Have students complete an Interest Inventory sheet. This will help the teacher identify each student’s learning style and the activities that they find the most interesting. Instead of reading lists that are set in stone, teachers can allow students the opportunity to choose some of their own reading material. They are more likely to read the material if it is something that they want to read.
Create a friendly environment
The school should also have a friendly environment. Parents and students should be greeted at the door. School staff should offer the students a smile and words of encouragement on a regular basis. Students are more likely to attend school when they feel that their teachers are concerned about them.
Reward regular attendance
Another way to improve student attendance is to reward those who have perfect attendance. Present them with certificates or simply spotlight their achievement. This will help to encourage them to continue to attend school and motivate other students to strive for perfect attendance.
Student attendance affects both the student and the school. Encourage students to regularly attend school by using some of the incentives listed above.