Attendance Counts – Starting with Kindergarten

Attendance Counts –  Starting with Kindergarten

Why is kindergarten so important? A 2011 California study found that 64 percent of students with good attendance in kindergarten and first grade could read at grade level after third grade, but only 17 percent of students who were chronically absent in both grades could do so.

Poor attendance through all grades, according to Attendance Works, is four times more likely among low-income students – the ones with the strongest need for class time to boost their math and reading scores. And the further behind a student gets, the less likely he or she is to graduate.

What can be done to get students to show up? Techniques include educating parents of kindergarten students about the importance of attendance, letting them know quickly when attendance problems arise, addressing any barriers that are preventing students from making it to school.  Schools can send text messages to parents starting at 6:45AM each morning to remind parents to get their children ready for school. The schools can also pass out hygiene kits to young students to help reduce illnesses and the resulting absences.