Poor school attendance causes learning gaps

Updated: Oct. 4, 2017 at 6:37 AM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - As the holidays approach, families are getting ready to travel and spend time with friends.

But, educators want to make sure kids aren't missing too much school.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, one in seven children will miss 15 days of more of school a year.

La Paloma Academy Lakeside Campus Principal Sean Watins said missing one or two days is not bad; it is only a problem if it keeps happening.

"I'm referring to more chronic absenteeism where some students will miss 20 to 30 days in 180-day school year which is a huge amount," he said. "With that you can miss entire lessons and standards and you can have a gap in your learning until somewhere down the line it gets revisited."

Watins said the most common excuse educators hear for why a child misses class is that they aren't feeling well or there is car trouble.

While those things can happen, there are ways to prepare your child so issues don't pop up.

Educators say creating a bedtime schedule is one way to keep kids from feeling groggy is the morning,

They also recommend laying out clothes and having kids pack backpacks the night before to cut down on rushing in the morning.

Parents are also encouraged to make sure you have reliable transportation or have a back-up ride in place.

Watins said some parents think it is OK to miss if their child gets good grades, but that's not the case.

"You can have a child who is a straight A student but if they have a high absentee rate, then they are going to have gaps where they missed certain standards and learning objectives in their life and that can pop back up in their learning experience for years to come," he said

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