THERE EVERY DAYAttend. Aspire. Graduate.
Yet in our metro 18,500 – or 14 percent – of students miss 18 or more days of school. That’s 1 in 7 children who are missing vital learning opportunities that will help them excel later in life.
Research shows that chronic absenteeism is a predictor of continued lack of attendance, school dropout, substance abuse and delinquency. Many factors can contribute to student absenteeism, including family health, financial concerns, poor school climate, drug and alcohol use, transportation problems and differing attitudes towards education.
We know that schools, families and communities can work together to identify and overcome barriers to attendance while building a positive culture that motivates daily attendance.
Together, we can make sure our students are There Every Day.
For ParentsExplore these resources to help your child with school attendance.
All families have hopes and dreams for their children. Good attendance matters for school success, starting as early prekindergarten and throughout elementary school. Being in school every day will enable children to do well in school, and graduate from high school ready for work or college.
What Can You Do?
- Develop a regular bedtime and morning routine.
- Help your child lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
- Make sure your child has the required shots before school starts.
- Avoid missing school unless a child is truly sick and seek help if chronic illness is a challenge.
- Check with our school nurse or office staff if you are not sure about when to keep your child at home due to illness.
- If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors, or other families for advice on how to make her feel comfortable and excited about learning.
- Reach out to a family member, a neighbor, or another parent if you are having trouble getting your student to school.
- Arrange medical appointments when school is not in session.
- Avoid extended vacations when school is in session.
Community Referrals and Hotlines
- Boys Town Hotline
- Nebraska Family Helpline
- Iowa Helpline
For StudentsExplore these resources to help you show up to school each day.
School is your most important job right now, because you’re learning about more than math and reading. You’re also learning how to show up for school on time every day so that when you graduate and get a job you’ll be able to get to work on time. If you’re having trouble getting to school and have challenges such as transportation, bullies, etc. tell someone, such as a teacher, guidance counselor or your parents.
Attendance MaterialsPrint and share these materials with others to help reduce chronic absenteeism in our metro.
Attendance Mapping Report
This report was conducted by United Way of the Midlands along with the School-Based Attendance Coalition to better understand what chronic absenteeism looks like in our metro so we can better work together to address it. Below, find some key findings:
- While levels of chronic absenteeism are highest in the high school grades, the rate of increase is highest in elementary grades, where rates nearly doubled (90% increase) over the past 5 years.
- Chronic absenteeism has increased over time in all districts, with the exception of Council Bluffs Community School District, where it has decreased due to sharp declines in high school absences.
- Multiple local sources indicate the most influential local factors contributing to student absences include barriers to parent/caregiver engagement and trouble meeting basic needs – with particular attention to transportation, rent and utilities, and mental health.
- Districts across the metro area use different attendance codes to classify the type and reasons for absences. Furthermore, the codes themselves are often generic. This presents a challenge to initiating data-informed strategies to address root causes of chronic absenteeism at a community level.
- Regardless of reason, chronic absenteeism remains an important benchmark to aggregate and consider attendance data across the region.
Click the images below to expand.
ToolkitUse these images in emails, documents, social media and more to help our community better understand chronic absenteeism and make sure students get to school.
Thank you to our partners!Many of the below organizations are members of the School Based Attendance Coalition, a vital partner in our community's efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism.
Special thanks to KETV for their commitment to this cause, and for helping capture stories of attendance success.
Attendance in the News
Dr. Martha Bruckner, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Omaha Educational Consortium (MOEC), stops by the KIOS-FM studios to chat with Mike Hogan “Live & Local” about this program and the importance of grade-level reading abilities.