Being Present in School Every Day Sets Students Up for Success

Showing up is the first step to success. What better way to support student success than to support their daily attendance in school?

By Connecticut State Department of Education

Regular attendance can help students in many ways, as schooling increases learning and positive behaviors, both in and out of the classroom.

Everyone ends up missing school sometimes, but regular attendance should be the goal. Missing too many days of school can lead to chronic absenteeism, which is defined as missing 10 percent or more of the total number of school days for the academic year. That works out to an average of just two absences per month. During the 2022-23 school year, one out of five students missed too many days of school, but attendance is improving.

Missing too many days of school has an enormous impact on a student’s ability to read at grade level, perform academically, and graduate on time. Good attendance, however, can help children:

  • Establish routines
  • Stay on track with their learning
  • Make friends
  • Participate in after-school activities
  • Get care and support from trusted adults

Unexpected circumstances occur frequently, and in those moments with your child, it might seem that it’s best to just stay home from school. However, there are staff members and plenty of school resources available to help families, make children feel comfortable, and support daily attendance. Students can get connected to school counselors for support if they are dealing with anxiety or emotional stress. Schools are staffed with nurses trained to deal with a range of illnesses and medical needs, including chronic health conditions. Parents can speak with the school nurse about their child’s health needs or check if a child should be kept home when they feel sick.

Parents can also talk to their child’s school about support available to help with transportation. Even when a student is late to school, it is better than not attending school at all.

“Your school is there to support your child and help you find solutions,” said Kari Sullivan Custer, attendance lead for the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). “Just reaching out for support can make all the difference in a child’s attendance and overall academic performance.”

There are many steps parents and families can take to help their students come to school every day. Talking with children about their experience at school is a great way to understand if they are enjoying time with friends and, with other kids, to make sure they are attending their classes. Through frequent talks, families can also learn about issues children may be having that could affect their academic success. Speaking with teachers about concerns regarding attendance and participation is another great way to monitor students’ progress in school. Families can also help students show up to class prepared and on time by establishing routines at home, such as when to go to bed, wake up, and arrive at school.

CSDE’s “Better With You” campaign has more information about the importance of daily attendance, and how it supports student learning and development.

Please visit to learn more.