Attendance counts all day, every day

Published 8:27 pm Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, chronic absenteeism will be a part of district and school accountability. The measure will be called the Chronically Out-of-School Indicator. This indicator will be based on what research calls chronic absenteeism, which is defined as a student missing 10 percent or more of instructional days the student is enrolled — for any reason, including excused absences and out-of-school suspensions (this means missing about two days of school per month or about 18 days per year). Excessive absences from school represent lost instructional time for a student.

We realize some absences are unavoidable due to health problems or other circumstances. But, we also know that when students miss too much school — regardless of the reason — it can cause them to fall behind academically.

Research shows:

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Tennessee students who are chronically absent in kindergarten are 15 percentage points less likely to reach proficiency in either 3rd grade math or English Language Arts.

Nationally, four out of five students who miss more than 10 percent of both kindergarten and first grade are unable to read on grade-level by third grade.

The problem continues as students get older. Tennessee students who are chronically absent in ninth grade are 30 percentage points less likely to earn an on-time diploma (62 percent vs. 92 percent).

The Claiborne County Board of Education does not want any child to fall behind in school or get discouraged. Below are a few practical tips to help support regular attendance.

Attendance Pointers for Parents

  • Make sure your children keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Make sure your children go to school every day unless they are truly sick.
  • Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
  • Develop back up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor or another parent to take your child to school.
  • Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your children feel anxious about going to school or show other signs of not wanting to go to school.

It is the Claiborne County Board of Education’s goal to want all children to be successful in our schools to prepare them to be college or career ready.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact your child’s teacher, principal, or school counselor.

For more information, contact your child’s teacher or check out the parent resources available at