Next week, we will be sending letters out to families whose learners are becoming ‘at risk’ because of low attendance.

As a school, we can already see the impact of this year’s round of covid regulations and cases. If your child has already been away from school with covid, generally, they would have been absent for 10 school days. Most students are experiencing recovery periods longer than the required isolation period. A 10-day absence, at this time of the year, is making an unavoidable 12.5% impact on attendance. Many times, the covid absence is associated with an isolation period for another family member. This is usually 5 school days or 6.25% impact. Overall, if your child has been in the situation of isolation plus covid, they may naturally be sitting at 81.25% attendance with no other absences. Quite shocking for some families, given their commitment to their child’s education!

The Ministry of Education’s normal target for average attendance across the school year is 90%. Research has informed this target. Students falling below the target are likely to have impacted learning outcomes and social outcomes. So how, as a community, can we ensure we minimise the negative impact, given that we can’t change covid?

Here are a few ideas that the school is following up with:
  • Ongoing contact with the Ministry of Education to seek practical and financial support for attendance
  • Ensuring whānau can access ‘live’ attendance and (if applicable) NCEA achievement records to monitor their child’s outcomes
  • Making contact initially by letter, then by meeting with families struggling with student attendance
  • Homeroom teacher and Mentor support to discuss attendance and potential barriers
  • Helping our NCEA students to put together a year plan for the remainder of the year so they can monitor their progress

Here are a few ideas for home:
  • Minimise the number of days missed for appointments or other matters by booking out of school time where possible
  • Communicate known absences with the school so we can ensure attendance is coded correctly, ideally with supporting documentation
  • Carefully consider the impact of a family holiday during term time given your child’s current attendance percentage - seek advice from the school if you aren’t sure what your child’s attendance percentage is
  • If you’re struggling with getting your child up and out of the house in the morning, let the school know, we may be able to help with resources and external support

More Information

Parent Portal | Checking Your Child's Attendance