Cinnamon Brown Mack, Founder/CEO, Victorious Attitudes For Everyday Life, Inc. and Faith Connolly, Executive Director, Baltimore Education Research Consortium

September Attendance Matters!  A recent Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC) study found that children enrolled in Baltimore City public schools who attend school every day in September end the year with higher attendance rates than those who are absent from school any days in September.  A child’s school attendance in September predicts their attendance for the whole school year.

“Start the way you want to finish,” is an old saying that is more than a notion. As parents and a community, our children are our most precious gifts to the world. It is our responsibility to ensure that our children receive the very best opportunities and start out their school year with high attendance. It is understood that a good education leads to greater career and life success. It is therefore imperative that we teach our children the importance of education and model the highly effective habits of lifelong learners. Positive habits such as showing up and being on time are a key component to our children’s academic and life successes.

Consider a child who has to adjust to a new class or/and new school, new teacher(s), and new peers. He/she is expected to achieve academically, adapt to his/her new environment, and develop positive relationships. The child with multiple absences is more likely to feel insecure about their knowledge, academic performance, and relationships. If a child’s absences continue throughout the school year, then they are more likely to have academic, behavioral, character, and other struggles. In contrast, the child whose parents encourage high attendance will develop traits like perseverance, dedication, and dependability.

By ensuring our children get to school every day, on time, and stay for the full school day, we are preparing them for college and careers in the 21st century. As this school year starts, please be very mindful of your thoughts and beliefs around attendance because the way you teach your child to begin the school year will be the way you teach them to finish.

Start strong, stay strong! Plan, plan, plan for high attendance! Here are some practical tips:

  • The first day of school is Monday, August 31st. If you are not sure where your child is enrolled to begin school August 31st, call or visit your school.
  • If your child is going to a new school, do a test run to make sure you and your child know how to get to the school and know how long it will take.
  • If your child needs a uniform, contact the school if you need resources to get one.
  • Start getting your child to go to bed earlier now so they can be up and in school on time
  • As a family, create a daily plan for checking school information your child brings home, the next day’s weather, and organizing homework and uniforms.

Our thoughts, beliefs and actions around education and attendance will lead to our children’s destiny.

Be careful of your thoughts because your thought becomes your words.

Be careful of your words because your words become your actions.

Be careful of your actions because your actions become your habits.

Be careful of your habits because your habits become your character.

Be careful of your character because your character becomes your destiny.