In New York, the State Education Department (SED) defines chronic absenteeism as missing 10 percent of school days or 18 days or more per year in a 180-day school year. That's about two days per month. Notably, that includes both excused and unexcused absences. Excused absences would include an illness, religious observation, or bereavement. Unexcused absences would be due to vacation, errands, missing the bus, traffic, or oversleeping. Chronic student absence reduces even the best teacher’s ability to provide learning opportunities for your child.
How do students do well in school? They come to school every day ready to learn!
Why is school attendance so important?
- Research shows that your child’s attendance may be the greatest factor influencing his/her academic success.
- By attending school regularly, your child is more likely to keep up with daily lessons and important skills that are being taught each day.
- Frequent absences can cause children to fall behind in school and have lower achievement in reading, writing, math, and general knowledge.
- Missing 10% (or 2 days a month) can make it harder to learn.
- Students who attend school regularly are more likely to achieve better in reading and math than students who do not come to school.
- Regular school attendance can help students who are learning English by giving them the opportunity to master the skills and information they need more quickly and accurately.
- Absences affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
- School is also a place where students learn important life skills and social interpersonal skills. Your child learns how to be a good citizen by participating in the school community. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school - and themselves!
- Coming to school every day and on time has a positive impact on later success in high school, college, and the job market. High school dropouts have exhibited a history of high levels of absenteeism throughout their childhood.
How to support your child’s education:
- Set regular bedtime and morning routines.
- Help children practice proper hand washing and hygiene, such as covering their cough and blowing their nose.
- Make sure children are dressed for the weather.
- Don’t let your child miss school unless he or she is truly sick. Keep in mind mild complaints of stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to miss school. If your child seems worried about school, talk to their teacher so we can figure out how we can make him/her feel comfortable and excited to learn.
- Develop a backup plan for participating in school if something unexpected comes up, such as a 2-hour delay, work demands, or an early dismissal.
- Schedule wisely. Schedule medical appointments and extended trips for times when school is not in session.
When should my child stay home?
- Please keep your child home if they have any of the following symptoms or illnesses: fever, diarrhea, vomiting, certain illnesses and rashes like chickenpox, measles, or hand, foot, and mouth disease.
- Please keep your child home for 5 consecutive days if they have tested positive for covid.
If you have any questions about whether or not you can send your child to school, contact your pediatrician or the School Nurse, Colleen Davy, at 845-497-4000, ext. 22531.
If your child does need to stay home because of an illness, please send in a written note explaining their illness when they return. You can also email the note to the School Nurse, Colleen Davy, the Health Office Secretary, Victoria Estridge and the classroom teacher. You may also call the Health Office Secretary, Victoria Estridge, at 845-497-4000, ext. 22532 when your child is absent, explaining why they are absent.
Our school day for students is 8:55 am - 2:55 pm. Students' arrival time is 8:40 - 8:55 am. Students are marked tardy if they arrive after 8:55 am. Students are marked for early dismissal if they leave before 2:55 pm. Please make every effort to have your child in school on time every day and please do not pick them up early.
We want our children to learn early on that going to school on time, every day is important. One day, our children will be adults and we want them to be active and successful members of society. We want all of our students to reach their full potential and learn necessary skills.