What it is
An area of student need of any deliberate student absence from school, often referred to as truancy and/or chronic absenteeism that is not due to legitimate illness.
With the student
• Develop a warm and supportive rapport with the student. Find out his/her likes and dislikes and engage in friendly conversations.
• Don’t criticize or make negative/sarcastic comments when the student comes to school, about the student missing school.
• Help catch the student up on missed work.
• Develop a student profile and use differentiated instruction targeted at the student’s preferred learning method.
• Offer the student choices for demonstration of learning and assessment.
• Improve classroom climate.
• Increase student engagement with advance notice of upcoming topics of interest to the student.
• Make personal phone calls, send emails and/or mail letters to absent students.
• Recognize, reward and celebrate all improvements in attendance.
• Make positive statements to the child that link improved attendance to positive achievement, peer relations, feelings of success.
• Meet with the student privately and set goals pertaining to attendance.
• Consider the development of an IEP with an Alternative Program Plan focused on the student developing improved attendance skills.
• Consider the development of an IEP with a Transition Plan, aimed at supporting the student in developing a value on school as a key to their future.
• Collect data on student attendance and look for patterns with day of week, subjects missed, weather, test days/due dates, field trips/changes to regular schedule, frequency, etc. to discuss with the student in a supportive collaborative problem solving way.
• Consider and collaboratively problem solve for issues involving lack of food, transportation, inadequate clothing for the weather, lack of clean clothes, bullying, substance abuse issues, etc.
• Encourage the student to become involved in extra-curricular activities.Less... More...
• Develop a positive rapport with parents/guardians.
• Make and maintain frequent contact with parents and enlist their support as part of the team.
• Establish regular meetings with parents and the student.
• Send home positive reinforcements for student attendance and communicate school successes.
• Provide contacts for out of school supports (public counsellors, nurse, etc.)
• Suggest resources for appropriate medical reasons for missing school.
• Offer supports for issues relating to their child’s needs at school (food, clothing, hygiene, transportation, etc.)
With the School Team
• Review the student’s OSR and talk to previous teachers about successes and strategies with respect to attendance.
• Seek other supports from administration, attendance counsellors, guidance counsellors, Child and Youth Workers, Social Workers, psychology staff, etc.
• Consider contacting the Children’s Aid for support.
• Consider and collaboratively problem solve for issues involving lack of food, transportation, inadequate clothing for the weather, lack of clean clothes, bullying, etc.
• Include information on the importance of school attendance for parents and students on newsletters, school website, etc.
• Explore alternative education options: coop, e-learning, modified school day, summer school, etc.
Teaching Strategies for Associated Areas of Student Needs:
• The Importance of Being at School: Scroll down to p. 4 for three categories of student absenteeism.