(Leonardtown, MD)-September is Attendance Awareness Month. School attendance has a huge impact on a student’s academic success starting in pre-kindergarten and continuing through high school. Even as children grow older and more independent, families play a key role in making sure students get to school safely every day. Regular and consistent attendance is necessary for student achievement, graduation, and career and college readiness. Research shows children chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade is much less likely to read at grade level by the end of third grade. By sixth grade, chronic absence is a proven early warning sign for students at risk for dropping out of school. Absences can add up quickly.

We realize some absences are unavoidable, but we also know when students miss too much school, regardless of the reason, it can cause them to fall behind academically. Parents may monitor school attendance through the Home Access Center (HAC) on the St. Mary’s County Public School website (www.smcps.org). Documentation of an absence must be sent to school within three days of the absence, either with a written note, phone call, email, or through the school website portal.

Have a great school year and remember, “School Attendance Matters.”

For more information, please contact Cheryl A. Long, Director of Student Services, at 301-475-5511, ext. 32198.