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Chronic absence is 18 or more days. 9 or less is satisfactory.


Good attendance is a very important factor to help your child succeed in school.  Build the habit of good attendance now. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school. Good attendance in elementary school helps students do well in high school, college, and at work.  School success goes hand in hand with good attendance! We hope you find the resources on this page useful for helping to build the habit of good attendance.


  • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.

  • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read.

  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.

  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.

  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.



  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.

  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.

  • Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required shots.

  • Introduce your child to her teachers and classmates before school starts to help her transition.

  • Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.

  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other parents for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.

  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.

  • Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session


Send your child to school if...

  • he or she has a runny nose or just a little cough, but no other symptoms.

  • he or she has not taken any fever reducing medicine for 24 hours, and has not had a fever during that time.

  • he or she has not thrown up or had any diarrhea for 24 hours.


Keep your child at home if...

  • he or she has a temperature higher than 100 degrees even after taking medicine.

  • he or she is throwing up or has diarrhea.

  • his or her eyes are pink and crusty.


Call the doctor if...

  • he or she has a temperature higher than 100 degrees for more than two days.

  • he or she has been throwing up or have diarrhea for more than two days.

  • he or she had the sniffles for more than a week, and is not getting better.

  • he or she still has asthma symptoms after using asthma medicine (and call 911 if he or she is having trouble breathing after using an inhaler).


You are not alone. We understand that challenges such as work schedules, transportation and health concerns make it hard for parents and guardians to send their children to school. We can help you overcome these challenges. Please contact the school immediately to discuss the situation. Together, we can find a solution!

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The above content has been used with permission from Attendance Works. The language has been adapted to reflect local policies.

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