Tyler ISD is joining with schools, city agencies, community nonprofits, businesses and others around the nation to celebrate Attendance Awareness Month. Throughout September, these groups will work together to help raise awareness, map attendance gaps and work with community partners to improve school attendance numbers.
“September is a particularly good time to focus on attendance,” Hedy Chang, director of Attendance Works, a nonprofit dedicated to improving school attendance, said. “Research shows that students who miss two to four days in the first month of school are more likely to become chronically absent during the school year. By paying attention to absences early in the school year and early in a child’s academic career, we can turn around attendance and achievement.”
Robert E. Lee High School ninth-grader Daniel Castillo understands the benefits of attending school. He has had perfect attendance every year since his first day of kindergarten. If he doesn’t go to school every day, he said, he will not be able to reach his goal of attending The University of Chicago, a top-ranking college for paleontology.
“I like to learn,” Daniel said. “School teaches me things I don’t already know. My dream is to be a paleontologist, and if I am not here to learn what I need to know, I won’t be able to reach that goal.”
For Daniel, the importance of attending school every day is instilled in him and his sister, who also has perfect attendance since kindergarten, by his mother Maria.
“Good attendance has a great impact on student success,” she said. “I know it’s hard to get up early in the morning, especially when you have worked so hard or maybe worked two jobs the day or night before like some parents do, but it will pay off. The joy and big smiles on their face, when they bring home a perfect attendance award and their A-B Honor rolls for the year, is priceless.”