Monte Vista Elementary held a SART parent meeting at their school on Friday, December 7, to discuss with parents attendance guidelines and the impact school attendance has on students.
The purpose of the meeting was to inform parents about SART, or student attendance review team, guidelines and expectations and also discuss when it is appropriate to keep their child home from school.
Monte Vista principal, Andrea Larios, shared these guidelines which included what is considered an excusable absence. Excusable absences include illness, medical appointments, court hearings, and a passing of a family member. Ms. Larios also discussed with parents the best way to notify the school of any absences and how to best prepare if they know dates that their child will be missing school. She also informed parents that student absences do not get a “clean slate” at the beginning of every school year, rather student attendance is observed as looking back at a specific window in time.
Larios also shared with parents the impact that school attendance has on students and their educational success. Students who are absent two or more days each month achieve 25% less than other students and only 17% of kindergartners who are chronically absent read at a proficient level.
Lastly, parents were informed on interventions that Monte Vista has in place to help students who are at risk and spoke about what families can do to prevent chronic absences. When students begin to miss class the school will schedule parent conferences, counsel students, connect students with extracurricular activities, establish parent drop off systems, reward and recognize good attendance, and much more.
Best practices to help prevent chronic absences are developing regular routines, making medical appointments after school hours, avoid taking extended vacations while school is in session, and only keeping students home when they are sick.