School attendance is vital to students' academic success. Coming to school regularly, on time, and staying the whole day are important steps. Charles City County Public Schools expects students to be in school at least 95 percent of the time. During a 180-day school year, that means students should miss no more than 9 days. When a student misses more days, it begins to negatively impact his/her success. And missing 18 or more days is considered chronic absence that will require plans, conference, or referrals.
Every Day Counts for Every Student!
Attending school is your child’s first job, and regular school attendance is critical to academic success.
- Starting in kindergarten, excessive absences can cause children to fall behind and make it harder to learn to read.
- Poor attendance in elementary school is a strong predictor for being a school dropout.
- Satisfactory attendance will help children do well in high school and college and at work.
- Children who are chronically absent fall behind academically and are also more likely to become involved in substance abuse and crime.
- In fact, the majority of chronically absent students usually do not graduate.
What Families Can Do
- Good attendance starts the night before. Create night routines for school days: time to complete homework, set out clothes, pack backpack, and have a regular bedtime with all media turned off. Children need about 9 to 11 hours of sleep (according to the National Sleep Foundation).
- Create morning routines that start the day off calmly with a regular wake-up time.
- Don’t promote or tolerate your child being absent from school. Send your children to school every day unless they are sick. This forms the habit of regular attendance and shows that school is important to your family.
- Avoid arriving late and leaving early. Every minute counts.
- Please try and plan your appointments and vacations when school is not in session. If your child is absent remember to call and send in a note (with the reason for the absence) to your child’s school.
- When assistance is needed, reach out to friends and neighbors, your place of worship, a local community organization or other networks of support instead of allowing your child to miss school.
- Consult with your school social worker or school counselor if you have concerns related to your child’s ability to be successful in school. They are here to help.
Regular and timely attendance is an important step to academic success. To support this, Virginia's Department of Education (VDOE) has made changes related chronic absenteeism which VDOE defines as missing 10% of the school year regardless of the reason or if it was excused or unexcused. Our school year consists of 180 days; therefore, a student will be considered "chronically absent" if s/he misses 18 or more days for any reason.
Also, VDOE now requires the use of reporting of attendance plans, conferences, and court referrals for excessive unexcused absences. Attendance letters will be issued for 5 or more absences (excused or unexcused). For students with 5 or more unexcused absences, attendance improvement plans will be developed followed by attendance meetings for 6 or more unexcused absences. A referral to the court for the students and parent/guardian will be issued for excessive unexcused student absences.