• Printed below is an article on how important regular attendance at school is.  It is a press release from "Get Schooled" which is a non-profit organization dedicated to using media, technology, and popular culture to improve attendance.  I think you will find the information very interesting.  The link to the Attendance Calculator may give you a better understanding on how attendance links with academic success - RDufour

    Teens skip a lot of school, believe parents have no idea

    Students cite boredom as key factor for missing so much school; survey suggests parents, a ‘trusted teacher,’ or a respected celebrity can have a positive impact


    NEW YORK (Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012)—Regular school attendance is critical to academic success, yet a new report from the Get Schooled Foundation reveals young people are often unaware that skipping even a few days of school can dramatically affect their grades and even decrease their odds of graduating. Further, students who skip a lot of school say their parents could have a big impact on improving their attendance, but for the most part their parents don’t know how often they cut class.  


    The report, “Skipping to Nowhere,” is based on in-depth interviews with more than 500 teens in 25 cities. The interviews revealed that most students face few or minor immediate consequences for skipping school, and many do not think missing class impacts their grades, their chances of graduating, or whether they’ll attend college. According to the report, more than 80 percent of students who skip school once a week believe it is unlikely they will fall behind in class. 


    “Our national leaders have set ambitious goals for our students. But we will not meet those goals unless students attend school regularly,” said Marie Groark, executive director of Get Schooled. “We are hearing from young people – no matter their community or background – that they have high aspirations, but too often they are not aware the path for success starts with consistent attendance.”


    Research shows that student achievement suffers after only five absences. And students who miss more than 10 days of school are more than 20 percent less likely to graduate from high school, and are 25 percent less likely to enroll in college, according to the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University. In fact, a 2011 New York City study suggests that just five absences a year impacts student achievement and college readiness.


    “Skipping school can become more than a bad habit: chronically absent students are more likely to drop out and become involved in juvenile crime. That’s not the future we want for our kids, and the Get Schooled survey shows it’s not the future kids want for themselves – but we can make a difference,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “In New York City, we’ve seen the positive results our initiatives have had. Our groundbreaking mentoring program helped chronically absent students gain 11,000 additional days of instructional time than their peers. There is much more work to do, and programs like Get Schooled will continue to help us get every student to school every day."


    Class cutting transcends socioeconomic, racial, and geographic backgrounds. The interviews, conducted by Hart Research, revealed that students who do skip tend to skip a lot: Nearly half (46 percent) of skippers are absent at least part of the day about once a week or more.  


    These students believe their parents largely don’t know about their skipping habits: 42 percent of students said their parents “never” or “rarely” know when they skip school. This is despite the fact that 65 percent of these same students said their teachers, principals, and others have talked to them about their skipping habits.


    “This report further proves the significance of parent involvement and supports the decades of research that show a direct link between family engagement and student achievement,” said Betsy Landers of the National PTA. “Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to absenteeism and skipping school. Parents should be engaged, talk with their kids about the importance of education, check their school work, and communicate with their teachers. A few simple actions like these will help parents know if their child is skipping school.” 


    The interviews gave students a chance to share why they skip, and what they’re doing when cutting class. More than 61 percent of school skippers find school boring and uninteresting. When they are not in school they are most likely “hanging out with friends” (65 percent). Students offered their ideas on how to change their skipping habits:


    1. Make more visible the importance of attendance. Students suggest that if they understood the consequences of their absences, they’d be much less likely to skip. 

    2. Make school more engaging. Students yearn for a connection between their “real lives” and what they learn in school.   

    3. Deliver the right message with the right messengers. Parents, a trusted teacher, and a respected artist, athlete, or celebrity can have a dramatic effect on student decision-making when it comes to school attendance.


     The Attendance Calculator at GetSchooled.com allows parents to input the number of days their child has missed to see how this may impact their test scores and graduation rates. Get Schooled connects with young people through digital and social media, and by working directly with hundreds of schools by offering them celebrity visits, tools, and strategies that highlight the importance of attendance and improve student engagement. Viacom, one of Get Schooled’s founding partners, has lent its platforms, expertise at connecting with youth, and celebrity relationships to allow Get Schooled to connect with youth in a way that is meaningful to them.   


    “To truly prepare this generation's students for the highly competitive 21st century workplace, we need to engage and inspire them to take control of their educations,” said Philippe Dauman, president and chief executive officer of Viacom. “Through its work with Get Schooled, Viacom's unparalleled connection with young audiences is bringing a new energy and excitement to learning for hundreds of thousands of students.”


    Students can go to GetSchooled.com to sign up for the popular celebrity wake-up call in which students receive a recorded morning wake up message from some of their favorite celebrities including Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa, Chris Rock, and Tyra Banks. Thus far, more than 55,000 students have signed up for celebrity wake up calls.


    To learn more about “Skipping to Nowhere” and the Get Schooled initiative, please visit https://getschooled.com/attendance-research, or contact Marie Groark at marie.groark@getschooled.com for further information. 




    About Get Schooled

    Get Schooled is a non-profit organization dedicated to using media, technology, and popular culture to improve attendance. Get Schooled connects with young Americans through its combination of on-air programming, online content, on-the ground events, and school-based initiatives. Together with hundreds of schools, educators, and students, and boosted by partners like Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Get Schooled motivates and empowers students to make high school education a priority and college education a possibility. To learn more go to www.getschooled.com.


    About National PTA National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of parent involvement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.