Research is clear that showing up for school has a huge impact on a student’s academic and social success starting from kindergarten and continuing through high school. Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school or even facing social challenges.
• Missing 10% (or about 18 days of a school year) can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
• By the 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that can indicate if a student is at risk for dropping out of high school.
• In the 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
Student attendance is a major point of focus for the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). Starting in school year 2018-2019, MSDE lowered the chronic absenteeism rate from 20% to 10% which means that at 10% a student should be receiving support and interventions to improve their absenteeism.
Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) believes that attendance is key for student success. Per Policy 9010, HCPSS defines exemplary attendance as a final attendance rate of 96% or more of the student year.
In support of achieving Exemplary Attendance for all students, we are sharing with you a comprehensive approach for attendance supports and interventions.
• If a student has missed 5% of their monthly attendance days (as few as 1-2 days a month), parents will receive a Care and Concern Phone Call and letter from their school. This step will allow staff members to coordinate with families to determine how the student can be supported for better attendance.
• If a student has missed 10% of their monthly attendance days (this is defined as chronic absenteeism by MSDE), parents will receive a 10% Chronic Absenteeism Attendance Letter. Parents and students may be scheduled for an attendance conference. Other interventions and supports may also be used in an effort to assist the student.
• If a student has missed 15% of their monthly attendance days, in addition to the interventions and supports at 5% and 10%, these students may require an attendance support plan. Students may also be referred to the Central Attendance Team.
• If a student has missed 20% of their monthly attendance days, parents will receive a 20% Emergency Chronic Absenteeism Letter or Habitual Truancy Letter. Students may be referred to Project Attend and may be referred to the State’s Attorney’s Office for habitual truancy.
With the collaborative effort of HCPSS parents, staff and students, we are confident that all students can have successful attendance. This will improve student success in school and in future life.