Improving school attendance can be difficult. A child cannot learn if they are not in school. So how can we use classroom management to get students to show up? Teachers as well as schools often have very little control in this area, because the responsibility usually falls on the students and their parents or guardians. However, there are a few classroom management methods that teachers can use to increase the chances that students will attend class. One of them is to to educate the children and their parents about the value of being in school. Studies have shown that students who attend school regularly, not only improve their chances of being more academically successful in school, but they also retain the information learned more effectively. Here are a few more classroom management methods that have proved to be successful in improving school attendance.
Classroom Management: Educating on the Value of Attendance
As mentioned previously, it’s important to take the time to educate not only the students, but their families on the value of showing up to school. While there will be times when a child is sick and cannot attend school, parents and students need to recognize that missing a few days a month can significantly impact their grades. Also, when a parent allows a child to stay home, they may fail to realize that they are sending them the message that school isn’t a top priority. Maybe these parents weren’t taught the importance of attending school as a child, or they just don’t care. That’s why it’s so essential to invest the time to educate parents and students on the value of attendance so everyone is aware.
Having a School Attendance Policy
If you want your students to show up to school, then you must have an attendance policy where students and parents know that there will be consequences if they miss class. Having a strict policy is a great way to deter students from skipping school as well as help to lead them in the right direction toward a bright future. Having an attendance policy should also be a part of the school’s mission statement. Here is an example of an elementary school’s mission statement on attendance.
“Regular and punctual attendance is an essential prerequisite to effective learning. At Brocklewood Primary School, we aim to develop an ethos which demonstrates to children, parents/caregivers and the wider community how much we value good attendance and punctuality. We expect all pupils to attend school every day.”
When you have a school mission statement such as the one above, you can ensure that both parents and students will understand that attendance is a top priority at that school.
Signing Attendance Contracts
A student/parent attendance contract is another effective strategy to improve school attendance. This contract will show students (and parents) that attendance is mandatory in your classroom and help set the tone for regular attendance for the whole school year. Many school districts have their students as well as their parents sign the contract in the beginning of the school year. Here is an example of a few of the statements that you would find the contract.
Attend school regularly.
Arrive to school on time.
Provide documentation for all absences.
Get child to school every day on time.
Contact school if child will be absent.
No late arrivals without proper documentation.
Having an attendance contract in place will help to ensure the students will be in class and receive a good education.
Creating Engaging Lessons that are Intriguing
If you really want to get your students in class, then you need to make your class fun and interesting. It has to be a place where students look forward to going every day. If they know that all they’re going to do is worksheets and take notes, then they won’t want to be there. But if they know they will get the chance to do fun experiments, learn through technology and group work, or go outside and learn, then you’ll have your seats filled every day. Encourage student feedback so you know what intrigues them. Find ways to turn boring information like learning about sedimentary rocks into fun ways, like learning about it through a song or rap. By making it fun and interesting, you will see your attendance rise.
Encouraging regular school attendance is the most powerful way that you can prepare a student for success. School attendance matters, and by implementing preventive programs and policies that ensure students are attending each and every day, you can improve your school attendance rate. Develop a partnership with parents, and together you can improve school attendance so that all students will have a bright future.
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