Students walking into school

10 Tips for Getting Your Child to School

School is in full swing and many families are into a routine for the school year. This is the time when habits and attendancepatterns are set that affect school attendance.

Did You Know? Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.

School attendance greatly affects academic success, starting as early as kindergarten. And it doesn’t stop in elementary. Even though your high school student may be more independent, families can still help make sure teens get to school on time and safely.

Here are some tips for parents that our WDMCS Learning Support and Family Engagement Coordinators Danette Rieper and Randy Dohmen have found that may help.

For Elementary Students

  • Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
  • Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  • Don’t let your child stay home unless she is truly sick. Keep in mind complaints of a stomach ache or headache can be a sign of anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
  • Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor, or another parent.

For Junior High and High School Students

  • Talk about the importance of showing up to school everyday, make that the expectation.
  • Help your child maintain daily routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep.
  • Find out if your child feels engaged by his classes and feels safe from bullies and other threats. Make sure he/she is not missing class because of behavioral issues and school discipline policies. If any of these are problems, work with your school.
  • Stay on top of academic progress and seek help from teachers or tutors if necessary. Make sure teachers know how to contact you.
  • Stay on top of your child’s social contacts. Peer pressure can lead to skipping school, while students without many friends can feel isolated.
  • Check on your child’s attendance to be sure absences are not piling up.