Why Every School Should Offer a Truancy Awareness Course
Every day a student is absent undermines their ability to learn. Missing 2-3 days a month can add up to 10 percent of the school year!
Absences can be excused or unexcused, and both disrupt students’ learning. This September, celebrate Attendance Awareness Month by encouraging students to prioritize school attendance.
Students will have more motivation to come to school.
Students with good attendance perform better academically. Students who miss too much school (chronic absence and truancy) are likelier to fall behind in reading and math, repeat grades, drop out of high school, and experience other adverse outcomes. That’s why a truancy awareness course is essential.
Research shows that students are more likely to attend class when they feel connected and cared about by their peers, teachers, and family members. Schools should work with families to identify barriers preventing students from attending class and address those issues.
Chronic absenteeism is often a symptom of other challenges, such as mental health and substance abuse, family instability, homelessness, or community violence. Schools should work with local agencies to provide support services for students struggling to attend school. This will increase student motivation to go to school and get their needed help. They will also be more prepared to thrive in the workforce and adult lives.
Students will be more prepared for the real world.
There is a lot of talk about how today’s youth need more preparation for the real world than their parent’s generation was. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Students generally like school, and they don’t hate it. What they don’t like are certain teachers or classes. They don’t like how some of their teachers treat them or that some lessons must be more fun and exciting.
Many students skip class because their teachers don’t care about them. They also think that they are being bullied or embarrassed by their teachers.
If teachers were more focused on making their classes fun and exciting, students would be more likely to attend them. And if students attended their classes more often, they would be better prepared for the real world when they graduate. They would be more likely to find jobs and be able to pay their bills.
Students will be more prepared for college.
Colleges have a huge problem with students needing more time to prepare for their courses. A Report investigation found that most of the two- and four-year colleges enroll incoming first-year students who need remediation. This puts students at risk of failing and hurts colleges, taxpayers, and families.
Instead of blaming students for their bad choices, it’s time to consider alternative educational options. Allowing students to choose their classes gives them the freedom to learn about subjects that interest them, which is essential for developing the learning skills they need for a successful career.
The traditional view of truancy as an act of delinquency is outdated and doesn’t explain why many students abandon school. If teachers and administrators see that truancy isn’t the result of character flaws or social problems, they can make schools more fun, engaging, and effective. This would decrease truancy by making it harder to skip class. Students are more intelligent than we think; they want to save their time on something other than tedious, useless types.
Students will be more prepared for the workforce.
In the past, school administrators tended to think that deficits or character flaws caused truancy. But the fact that truancy is so widespread across all ages and grade levels suggests that there must be something else at play. The evidence shows that students abandon school for various reasons, but curriculum and pedagogy are the most important. As a result, they must elevate the intellectual location of truancy as one of the most pressing issues in education and stop classifying it as behavior that students’ traits can explain.
In addition to improving students’ academic outcomes, regular attendance prepares them for the workforce. Given that workforce trajectories are unpredictable, schools must provide young people with the skills they’ll need to succeed, regardless of their career paths. That means providing a range of educational options, from career academies to more traditional vocational training. It also means teaching critical thinking and cognitive flexibility, essential for navigating the ever-changing world of work.