ERIC Number: ED454571
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1999
Attending to Attendance. Fastback 450.
Dougherty, John W.
This fastback document examines student absenteeism and offers advice on what schools can do to improve attendance. It looks at truancy, absenteeism, and tardiness and how, since the first days of compulsory education, educators have had to deal with these obstacles to education. Since the 1970s absenteeism has been identified by many educators as the most persistent problem that schools face. Absenteeism rates vary from suburban to urban districts, and the causes can be traced to several factors, such as the home environment. Schools try to curb absenteeism by various methods, but overall, school principals must play a key role in improving attendance, which includes developing an attendance philosophy for the school. But even the best attendance policy must be accompanied by an understanding of student motivation. Schools must look at whether alienation is playing a part in absences. Other factors, such as cultural values, socialization, social responsibility, academic rigor, and school climate, must also be considered when examining attendance patterns. To improve attendance, schools should develop a clear, fair attendance policy, should support the attendance policy by placing a premium on uninterrupted instructional time, and should review and renew the attendance policy regularly. (Contains 58 references.) (RJM)
Descriptors: Attendance, Educational Policy, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment Management, School Holding Power, School Policy, Student Motivation, Student School Relationship, Truancy
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Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.
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