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By Cara Beth Lewis 

Each year, the month of September is a time to remember and recognize the importance of being present in school for all students. Maintaining attendance is a key factor in academic success, while absenteeism tends to put students behind.

Research shows that over eight million students are missing school to the extent that their records are being negatively affected. Chronic absence means that ten percent or more of school days have been missed.

More research shows that children in poverty are more likely to be chronically absent from school. This is a vicious cycle, as success in school affects lifelong success and the ability to  break the chains of poverty. Many students are unable to see the importance of school, and how important it is in their social, emotional, and academic development. Because they do not see the significance, they are likely to make absence from school habitual.

The Attendance Awareness Campaign began in 2013. Their goal is to mobilize schools and communities  to promote the value of good attendance and to take concrete steps toward reducing chronic absence.

AttendanceWorks.org has this to say: “The challenge of improving attendance is to avoid making the incorrect assumption that chronically absent students or their parents simply do not care. By working together, all of us — schools, public officials, public agencies, civic organizations, businesses, philanthropic groups, families and students —  can ensure all children can get to school every day so they have an opportunity to learn, flourish and realize their dreams.”

In honor of Attendance Awareness Month,  help students that you know to realize the importance of presence in school, and teach them how school can affect the rest of their life.

Read more about the Attendance Awareness Campaign here: https://awareness.attendanceworks.org/about/

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