Mon Jul 21, 2014
All staff members who spend time with students every day - from bus drivers to teachers to media specialists to cafeteria workers - have opportunities to help children stay connected with school, and to help Norfolk Public Schools correct chronic attendance issues.
1. It Takes Trust: Students are more likely to engage in school and find success if they believe teachers and other staff members can be trusted to care, listen and keep promises. Build trust by providing good, positive relationships students can count on.
2. Shoot for the Moon: Students respond to high expectations from adults. Expect the best behavior, demand hard work, and they will want to come to school and deliver.
3. It’s Personal: Students want to be in schools and classrooms where they can find support with personal matters and schoolwork. Be there for the kids, and give students individual attention. If you notice that a child is having trouble, or if the child confides a problem, offer to help and involve other trusted adults, such as parents and school counselors, as appropriate.
4. Set the Example: Excellent attendance isn’t just students’ responsibility. Adults who miss too much school send the wrong message. Monitor your own attendance.
5. Talk It Up: Discuss with your students the importance of education to their future. Attendance and grades matter for life success, whether they are headed to college or into the workforce.
6. Anybody home? If you notice a student who is absent frequently or who stops showing up to school, don’t just keep it to yourself. Talk to the student, emphasize the need to come to school, offer to help, contact the parent, or refer the student to another support person such as a school counselor. Make sure the school’s administration knows if the student has stopped showing up without explanation.
7. Broken Record: Excellent record-keeping is essential to Norfolk Public Schools’ efforts to track children’s attendance, communicate with parents and hold families accountable for chronic truancy. Be sure you are following procedures for recording attendance.