Attendance is an important part of academic achievement. When students are absent from school, they miss the instruction that their classmates receive. Frequent absences can make it more difficult for children to master school work in the same amount of time as the rest of their class. For this reason, your Report Card includes data on the percentages of students who attend school each day.
Look carefully at school attendance rates and compare them with state averages. School attendance rates usually look high when you read them as a percentage, but even slight differences can be quite meaningful. For example, a 96 percent attendance rate in a school is a bit higher than the state average of 95 percent. But in a school of 1,000 students, a 96 percent attendance rate means that 40 students - or almost two classrooms full of students - aren't in school every day. And at the state average of 95 percent attendance, 50 students in a school of 1,000 aren't in class each day.
Your school's principal is a good person to talk to about school attendance rates and what might be done to improve them. When you talk with your principal, you might want to ask if the same students are absent from school each day. Repetitive absences are a larger concern in terms of school performance than periodic absences for doctor's appointments.
State averages are calculated based on schools with similar grade ranges. For more information about how attendance rates are calculated and other technical questions, see the Data Sources & Information Guide.