Simple steps to reduce student absenteeism

Partners Post, October 2015

Leaves are turning colors, and the weather is starting to cool. You know what that means — kids are catching colds and other illnesses and missing days of school. Doctors' appointments and other events can also take a student out of the classroom for a few hours — or a few days.

Partners for Public Education surveyed Pennsylvania educators and support professionals about what parents and guardians can do to reduce absenteeism and keep students in the classroom. Here are a few suggestions:

Schedule vacations outside of school days and doctors' appointments after school hours or on in-service days. 
—Reading specialist, Unionville-Chadds Ford 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. 
—High school science teacher, Northgate 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. 
—High school special education teacher, West Chester Area Education Association

Limit time on video games, computers, and gaming devices like the Wii. 
—Elementary paraprofessional, Danville Education Support Professionals Association

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

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

Have regular doctors' visits for your child.
-High school paraprofessional, Connellsville Education Support Professionals Association



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