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Attendance Matters

Dear Brooks Families,


As the school year begins, this is the perfect time to continue educating our community on the importance of students being at school, barring illness.  This correspondence is an introduction to what will be my ongoing efforts to improve student attendance at Brooks School.  Following this letter, there will be routine reminders and stunning research that correlates academic achievement and attendance at school.  We will start with 2 definitions that are recognized by the state:


Truancy - Involves students who do not attend school and they are unexcused absences (in other words, we don’t hear from a parent/guardian as to why the child is absent)


Chronic Absenteeism - This counts all absences, excused and unexcused.  Once a child misses 10% of a cumulative school year, they are considered Chronically Absent and parents will be notified.


What if I’m on a long term vacation? - The first 15 days are absence days.  On day 16, the child is dropped from our enrollment and must be re-enrolled upon return.


If children are sick, we want them to stay home to recuperate and to avoid the spread of illnesses.  We also recognize there are family emergencies and situations that require your child to miss school.  But after reading our ongoing attendance/achievement information, I hope you will consider if/when your child should miss school.  If you ever have a question about your child’s attendance, please do not hesitate to contact me.



Terri Russell


FACT #1 - One in ten kindergarten and first grade students miss a month of school during the school year when all their absences are added up.  That is critical learning being missed.  Children who do not learn the building blocks and basic skills in the early grades must work much harder to stay afloat as they go on.  Many never catch up (Hedy Chang, Present, Engaged and Account for:  The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades)