Attendance Matters

Attendance Matters is an initiative in School District 197 that takes a proactive approach to ensuring our students are in school every day.

School District 197 recognizes that good attendance is essential to academic success. But many students are at risk academically because they are chronically absent. 

Keeping kids in school is everyone's responsibility. School District 197 school leaders ask that families help by paying attention to when their child’s absences start to add up and reaching out to the school for resources and support before they miss so many days of school that they are at risk of not reading at grade level, being on track to graduate, or even dropping out of school. 

We want your students to receive the full experience from their education so they will be prepared for success in school, work, and life. 

What is Chronic Absence?
Chronic absence is missing as few as two days per month for each month of the school year—for any reason, excused or unexcused. In a school year, that’s about 16 total missed school days. Research shows that absenteeism begins to affect student performance at that point.

Starting as early as kindergarten or even preschool, chronic absence predicts lower 3rd-grade reading scores. By middle school, it’s a warning sign that students will fail key classes and drop out of high school.

This is not just a matter of truancy. Many children, especially in the early grades, miss too much school because of chronic health problems, unreliable transportation, or housing moves—barriers we can help families address in partnership with city agencies and community partners.

We’re Here to Help
Your school can help with logins, internet, devices, grab-and-go meals, health and mental health, and resources.

Contact your school counselor or administrator for support if your student resists attending school or has any questions.

What Families Can Do 
You can support your student to be successful in school and have good attendance by doing these things:  

  • Check Infinite Campus regularly. The Parent Portal helps monitor attendance and grades and allows families to communicate with teachers and the school. And update your contact information immediately when there are changes!

  • Get involved! Getting involved at the school will help you understand what is happening and be a part of the school community.  

  • Let your student's school know if you need help with school supplies or clothing, and they'll contact one of our community partners on your behalf.  

  • Help your student stay on track by learning what happens if they become chronically absent. Check out the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook to learn more: The English version is here and Spanish version is here.

  • If your student does become chronically absent, reach out to the school for support and guidance on how to get them back on track.  

  • Find out the sick day guidelines so that you know when to keep your student home from school. 

  • Help your student feel safe. If they refuse to go to school, they might need emotional support, which might be a sign of a problem at school. Reach out to the school counselor. 

  • If your student is having trouble getting to school—and has challenges such as transportation, being teased, etc.—tell someone, such as a teacher or guidance counselor. All of our schools offer services to help the whole family. 

  • Make every effort to schedule doctor, dentist, and other appointments after school hours or during breaks. If your student must be out of school for an appointment, please get them back to school for at least part of the school day.

  • Plan vacations when school is not in session.

Attendance Frequently Asked Questions