Why do schools focus so much on student attendance and implement punitive measures when students chronically do not show up?
There are a few reasons beyond the simple one of attendance being the “rule”. Chronic absenteeism begins in the early ages. In fact, more than 10 per cent of kindergarten students and first graders are chronically absent (missing 10 per cent or more of school days). Students with high absenteeism rates are more likely to fall behind in math and reading, and dropping out of school later on.
High rates of chronic absenteeism are reflective of a school’s culture. When attendance is de-prioritized, students’ morales may be diminished, affecting their affinity to school, a trait necessary for safe schools. Incorporating smart school management technology into school safety measures may therefore be a part of the solution in aiding the tracking of student attendance.
When students' safety needs are met, the learning environment becomes comfortable and conducive. Schools are responsible for ensuring they are safe and accounted for during the day.