By Superintendent Van Ayres

Everybody knows it is important to go to school. But they may not understand just how vital is it that our students come to school every day, ready to learn. Our motto this year in the district is “Hillsborough Strong — Everyone Matters, Every Day Matters.” Regular attendance allows students to practice their skills and progress in their courses. Below are three myths that we often hear about school attendance and why it is important that your child be in school every day.

Myth No. 1: “Attendance is most important for high school. It’s not as critical in elementary school.”

FALSE. The foundation for a successful education and future starts in elementary school.

Attendance is important for every child every day. Research shows that chronic absenteeism in early grades correlates to difficulty reading in third grade and low achievement in middle school. By sixth grade, chronic absences become a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Myth No. 2: “Missing school two to three days a month is not a big deal.”

FALSE. Missing just two to three days a month is 10 percent, and that can have a negative impact on learning.

Throughout a school day, students engage in each of their core subjects, like math and reading. Missing two to three days per month can very quickly amount to a heavy load of missed lessons and makeup work. Students feel overwhelmed when they return due to missing important instruction and assignments. The best way to keep up with the pacing of your student’s curriculum is to ensure they are in class daily.

Myth No. 3: “As long as the absence is excused, it’s OK.”

FALSE. Although it is true that an excused absence is better than unexcused and there are times when a student needs to be absent, even excused absences can negatively impact a student’s learning.

Every day matters at school. So don’t let your child hit that snooze button — have them get up, get to school and make the most of every day!

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