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Playing Hookie (Hooky)

I would be lying if I said that I never cut class. In fact, before I realized the impact attendance had on my test scores, I skipped here and there. That was mainly my first year of college, and I was young and immature.

It's amazing to see though, as an educator, how quickly a student can fall behind when they miss even 1 day of school. Of course it sometimes depends on the student, but the majority do fall behind, and it has a domino effect on the grade for the whole unit, or quarter, quite often.

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My advice... only miss when you're sick...simple enough. Or, only let your children miss when they're truly sick. We also don't want germs being spread, and a cycle of illnesses beginning.

Two years ago we had one of those massive flu epidemics in my school. It started with a few, and was shared to almost the entire school. We wound up having a full week off because we tried to have session on Wednesday, but didn't have enough attendance for it to count. I luckily managed to get the bug on Friday (enter sarcasm).

Every year I see pretty much the same thing though. There are usually 2-3 students in each grade that have very poor attendance. I'm talking missing 15-20 percent of the days. I often wonder what exactly is going on at home? If there are lengthy illnesses, I can accept that, and wish them well. If they miss too much, I personally call the truancy officer, because I see how much they miss after just one day. It's mind-boggling!

And it's not like we don't have an attendance policy, but as long as an absence is excused, they're fine. If the parents are willing to let them miss 50 days a year, then they probably will miss. You'd think it'd catch up with them eventually, and it usually does in one form or another.

I guess all-in-all this is more of a common sense post. Most of you know that it's important to get to school, otherwise you aren't learning. I'm hoping that some of those children that miss though aren't the ones with the parents who hated school or who have a negative attitude about it. They aren't solving any problems that way.