What parents can do to reduce absenteeism

Partners Post, September 2014

Partners for Public Education asked educators and school support professionals from across Pennsylvania what parents can do to reduce absenteeism and keep students in the classroom. Here are some of the suggestions they had to offer:

Schedule vacations outside of school days and doctors’ appointments after school hours or on in-service days. 
—Carolyn, reading specialist, Unionville-Chadds Ford Education Association

Maintain a regular family schedule. Be a good role model by keeping your children's schedule as well as you can. Always serve a good breakfast. 
—Liz, school counselor, Warrior Run Education Association

Don't make it easy for a student to just stay home. Make sure your child is spending adequate time doing make-up work when absent. Make it a priority that your child needs to be in school. 
—Rita, high school math teacher, Armstrong Education Association

Make sure your kids get enough sleep, eat well, and wash their hands. 
—James, middle school computer science teacher, Mt. Lebanon Education Association

Praise students when they do good things at school. Talk to them about the importance of being at school and keeping up with their schoolwork. 
—Josephine, high school science teacher, Northgate Education Association

Buy your child an alarm clock and teach him/her how to use it. Talk about the importance of attendance and learning. Model good attendance at your own job. 
—Stacy, elementary reading specialist, Armstrong Education Association

Assist with organization and help students learn preparedness. Help students with confidence issues, personal grooming, etc. Role play with kids to help them develop social skills. 
—Liz, middle school English teacher, Altoona Education Association

Be positive about school. Discuss the importance of education regularly and keep negative thoughts and comments about teachers or activities limited to private discussions with the teacher. Maintain good sleep and diet practices. 
—Michelle, high school English teacher, Northampton Education Association

Participate in at least one activity at school. Make a connection at the school with one staff person who is willing to mentor your child. Show your children the importance of education and its connection to their future career, salary, and self-sufficiency. 
—Kim, high school special education teacher, West Chester Area Education Association

Value education. Treat school as a job. Make it clear to your children that you must be there to get "paid." 
—Linda, biology teacher, Indiana Area Education Association

Keep to a schedule. Limit time on video games, computers, and gaming devices like the Wii. Stay involved with your student. 
—Tammy, elementary paraprofessional, Danville Education Support Professionals Association

Have a home consequences and reward program. Talk to a guidance counselor or outside therapist, if necessary. 
— Mary Jane, speech therapist, Bucks County IU #22 Education Association

Seek professional help, if necessary. Seek medical intervention if there are possible health issues. 
—Vicki, teacher, Colonial IU #20 Education Association

Provide transportation and be on time. Make any appointments after school.  
—Jodie, high school art teacher, Erie Education Association

Reinforce the importance of education. Give your child an incentive, such as a choice of the family vacation spot or a once-a-month pizza party with friends. Always know where your children are. 
—Paraeducator, Keystone Education Support Professionals Association

Be engaged in the morning. Don't sleep in while your children get up. Know what they are doing at night. 
—Bob, 6th grade science teacher, Colonial Education Association

If a student is absent, make sure he/she gets make-up work and completes it. 
—Carl, high school social studies teacher, Laurel Highlands Education Association

Keep your routine, proper sleep patterns, a good diet, and proper meal times. 
—Carol, elementary classroom aide, Tussey Mountain Education Support Professionals Association

Schedule vacations for times when school is not in session. Expect your child to go to school and convey this expectation to your child by valuing his/her education. 
—Lauren, elementary special education teacher, Downingtown Area Education Association

Don't allow your child to stay home just because he/she wants a "day off." Plan with your child his/her clothes and lunch for the next school day the night before. Show an interest in what your child might be learning that day in school. 
—Middle school science teacher, Weatherly Education Association

Keep scheduled bedtime and wellness visits. Stay caught up on laundry. 
—Jacqueline, elementary secretary, Woodland Hills Education Support Professionals Association

Set a bedtime and wake-up time and set educational expectations. Create partnerships with family, child, teacher, and school where all expect certain behaviors.
—Judy, 3rd grade teacher, Lancaster City Education Association

Enforce with your child that school is your child's job. Keep your child healthy through nutrition, exercise, and immunizations. Get to the bottom of why your child doesn't want to go to school. 
—Brenda, paraprofessional, Bensalem Education Support Professionals Association

Have regular doctor's visits for your child. Reward your child with praise for good grades and attribute that to his/her good attendance. Instill in your child, by example, that good attendance at school will lay the groundwork for a good foundation in future work. 
—Nicole, high school paraprofessional, Connellsville Education Support Professionals Association

Don't make excuses for your kids not attending school. 
—Sharon, speech pathologist, Mohawk Education Association

Don't harp too much on test pressure; just make sure your child tries. Encourage your child to have friends in and out of school. 
—Kim, elementary special education teacher, Ephrata Education Association

 

 

 

 

 

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