Attendance Matters

IN JUST ONE DAY, your first-grader could finish their first book, cover to cover.

IN JUST ONE DAY, your second-grader could make another giant leap in reading.

IN JUST ONE DAY, your third-grader could write their own story.


When your child misses a day of school they are losing out on opportunities to learn and grow. Excused and unexcused absences result in the same consequences. One day spent away from the classroom is a missed opportunity to build friendships, explore new subjects, or strengthen their reading skills. Unfortunately, you never know which day that opportunity will present itself. So, what can be done? A lot!

Here are six ways to make perfect attendance a weekly goal!

1. Life can make all of us take unexpected turns.

So have a backup plan to your backup plan for getting your children to school on time, including for bad-weather days that call for a late start or early dismissal.

Use this attendance tracker to help you and your child reach the goal of having perfect attendance. 

2. We all need a little help sometimes.

Form “car-bus-walk pools” with other families you know to take turns getting your children safely to school on time every day.

Here are additional resources that can help you get your reader to school each day. 

3. Say no to achoos.

Hand washing, using hand sanitizer, eating breakfast, and dressing warmly help keep our children healthy and in school during the winter months.

Does your child need a warmer coat? Your school’s guidance counselor can help you get one.

4. Family time, especially over the holidays, is important. But so is school attendance.

Try to schedule family activities and vacations on non-school days.


5. What’s okay, and what’s not.

Coming to school with a cold is okay. Coming to school with a fever is not. Help us keep all our students healthy by keeping your child home when they have a fever.

Here’s a “I Don’t Feel Good Poster” to remind you when it’s okay and not okay to send your child to school. 

6. Cold weather can be tough on children with asthma.

Meet with your school’s nurse to help you make sure your child’s asthma symptoms don’t keep them from school.


We understand that life happens. Sometimes you have to keep your child home due to an illness or an unforeseen event. When this occurs write and submit an excused note and return it to your child’s teacher. As a reminder, excused notes must be submitted within three days of your child’s return to school. Check out this handout for more information on the School District of Philadelphia’s attendance policies.