Parents & Community » Attendance Campaign - Every Day Matters

Attendance Campaign - Every Day Matters

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In the Warrenton Hammond School District we believe every day matters for our students. Attendance is an important life skill that helps students be successful in the classroom, graduate on time and be prepared for life beyond high school. The desire to attend school regularly starts with students feeling a sense of belonging. We want our classrooms, schools and district to be places where students develop meaningful relationships with staff and other students. But to forge those connections, students need to attend school regularly.


Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% or more of school days for any reason (including excused, unexcused, and behavioral absences). That's equivalent to about 18 missed days over the course of an academic year. In Oregon, more than one in six children are chronically absent from school. Research shows that children who were chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade are far less likely to read proficiently at the end of 3rd grade. By 6th grade, absenteeism is one sign that a student may drop out of school. By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.


Of course, if your child is sick, they should stay home until they feel better. Please refer to our Too Sick for School guidance.


How can you help?


Prioritize Attendance

Families play a key role in making sure students access learning opportunities and understand why attendance is so important for success in school. Attendance habits are established the very first week of the school year, so please help your student build good habits early. 


For Elementary Families

  • Introduce your kids to their teachers and classmates before school starts.
  • Set a regular bedtime and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before school.
  • Develop contingency plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, neighbor or another parent.
  • Schedule dental and medical appointments and extended trips when school isn't in session.
  • If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to their teacher, counselor or principal about how to make them feel more comfortable and excited about learning.

For Middle & High School Families

  • Check your child’s attendance. Parents/guardians can log into ParentVUE to view attendance. For support with accessing and using ParentVUE, visit the ParentVUE webpage.
  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school every day.
  • Help your student maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Schedule dental and medical appointments and extended trips when school isn't in session.
  • If your child has anxiety about going to school, discuss possible options with your child's teacher, counselor or principal.

Absence Reporting

Full-day and  Partial-day or previous absences must be reported directly to your school's office. Students who are absent for 10 or more consecutive days will be unenrolled from WHSD, and families will need to re-register prior to returning to school. 

Keep Your Child Engaged

  • Ask your student if they feel engaged in their classes. Ask if they feel safe and welcome in their school.
  • Make sure they aren’t missing classes because of challenges with behavioral issues or school discipline policies. If so, contact your student's counselor to discuss.
  • Monitor academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors, if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
  • Stay on top of their social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school. Students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Encourage them to join meaningful after-school activities, including sports and clubs.
  • Notice and support them if they’re showing signs of anxiety.

Address Your Child's Anxiety

If your child is suffering from anxiety, they're not alone. In most situations, anxiety is normal and temporary. It becomes a concern if it persists and affects relationships with family, peers and teachers; contributes to academic challenges; and leads to school avoidance/refusal. Addressing anxiety is important for a child’s overall well-being, not just attendance.

Here are some tips to help your child get through these challenges and return to school:

  • Don't punish your child for refusing to go to school, as this can make the situation worse.
  • If possible, avoid letting your child stay home. Though staying home from school may provide short-term relief for your child, continued absence from school will lead to a feeling of being disconnected from classmates and teachers, cause your child to fall behind academically and make it harder for them to return.
  • Speak with your child. Try to understand what's specifically bothering them.
  • Make it clear that you're there to help and you believe they can face their fears and overcome the problem.
  • Talk with the school nurse, counselor, social worker and/or psychologist about your student’s challenges, identify possible solutions and develop a plan.
  • In certain situations, a 504 plan or Individualized Education Program (IEP) may be needed to ensure your child receives appropriate support and resources.