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Tips for Parents of Middle and High School Students

Attendance Matters

  • Families can make a difference. Set a consistent expectation that school attendance matters to you and that you won’t allow an absence unless someone is truly sick. Don’t ask older students to help with daycare and household errands.
  • We understand that children will get sick and need to stay home occasionally. The important thing is to get your children to school as much as possible.
  • People tend to grow concerned only about students who miss consecutive days of school, but occasional absences can be just as disruptive as they can add up before you know it – just two to three days a month can add up to nearly 10 percent of the school year.
  • By middle and high school, chronic absence is a leading warning sign that a student will drop out of high school.
  • For older children, you can help set homework and bedtime routines that allow for 8 eight to nine hours of sleep. Make sure that when the lights go out, so do the cell phones, video games and computers.
  • Get to know your children’s teachers and administrators. For older students, your school officials can help you can stay on top of academic progress and social contacts to make sure your child is staying on track.
  • Stay plugged in and interested in your child’s education even as they become teenagers. Even if they don’t say it, they are more likely to enjoy school if they can see you are engaged.
  • If your child is missing school, talk to him or her about why. Is he or she having problems with particular teachers or other students? Talk to school staff for help sort out the issues, if necessary.
  • Remember you can turn to the school for help. Many schools offer services for the whole family to help, for example, with issues concerning access to health care and reliable transportation.