The Importance of Good School Attendance

Successful schools engage students and encourage them to come to school regularly. This may seem obvious; however, schools make immense efforts to increase attendance in order for students not to reap the consequences of low attendance. According to the NYC Department of Education, New York State’s attendance rate is an average of 84.3% across all grades. Therefore, if a school is below average on this scale, it is a key indicator that the school is not making positive efforts to keep kids attending school.

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What does the attendance rate tell you about a school?

Reported by the Department of Education, the attendance rate tells you the average percentage of students attending school each day in a given year. If you find that your child’s school is below the average attendance rate, it may be beneficial to ask the head of school why this is the case and what they are doing to address this issue.

How important is attendance?

If a child is consistently going to school, they are more likely to succeed academically. This is due to the routine of learning, studying, and practicing that students must develop over time. It is easy to fall behind on school work and lessons if not regularly present in class, resulting in low test scores, stress, and excess work. 

How can schools increase their attendance rate?

Schools are most effective in increasing attendance when parents, students, and community members are involved. In order to have high attendance rates, the students need to feel comfortable in their academic environment, and their parents need to be comfortable sending them to school as well. The National Center for School Engagement provides ways in which schools can improve their attendance rates; here are a few:

  1. Create relationships with law enforcement and local businesses to make allies and to help encourage students to go to school instead of congregating at businesses during school hours.
  2. Make the school a welcoming and safe space for students.
  3. Call parents and discuss why the student is absent, make sure the teacher is doing everything they can to make the student feel accepted.
  4. Talk to students about why they were gone and let them know they were missed.

A few simple steps can help make students feel more motivated to go to school, not only benefiting the student, but the school as a whole.


This may not be something you’d think about when choosing a school, however, attendance rate carries immense importance and is something to consider when picking the right school for your child. If your child frequently attends school they are more likely to become successful. See how joining the Saint Gregory’s School community could benefit your student by touring our Albany-area campus for students Pre-k through 8th grade today!

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