PCS Celebrates the Attendance Awareness Campaign

PCS Celebrates the Attendance Awareness Campaign
Posted on 09/04/2019
Putnam County Schools Celebrates the Attendance Awareness Campaign this September with Attendances Works.


Putnam County Schools pledges to engage community, families, students in concerted effort to reduce chronic absenteeism

Putnam County Schools (PCS) is partnering with Attendance Works to join the nationwide effort and celebrate the Attendance Awareness Campaign in September. PCS has pledged to raise awareness about the value of regular school attendance and focus on reducing chronic absenteeism in the new school year.

PCS recognizes that good attendance is essential to academic success. However far too many students are at risk academically because of chronic absences. Chronic absence is described as missing 10 percent of the school year—or about 18 days – for any reason, excused or unexcused. That’s the point at which absenteeism begins to affect student performance, research shows.

Nationally, nearly 8 million students miss almost a month of school in excused and unexcused absences every year. Starting as early as kindergarten or even preschool, chronic absence predicts lower 3rd grade reading scores. By middle school, it’s a warning sign that students could fail key classes and drop out of high school.

In September, schools, city agencies, community nonprofits, faith-based groups, businesses and others around the nation are committing time and resources to raise public awareness, map local attendance gaps and work with community partners to improve school attendance starting as soon as children enter school.

“September is a particularly good time to focus on attendance,” said Hedy Chang, executive director of Attendance Works, a national nonprofit initiative dedicated to improving school attendance. “Research shows that students who miss two to four days in the first month of school are more likely to become chronically absent during the school year. By paying attention to absences early in the school year and early in a child’s academic career, we can turn around attendance and achievement.”

For the Attendance Awareness Campaign, Attendance Works asks school leaders, community advocates, parents and students to act upon these critical first steps to help stem chronic absenteeism:

  • Build a habit and a culture of regular attendance
  • Use data to determine when and with whom chronic absence is a problem, and
  • Identify and address barriers to getting children to school.

Another way Putnam County Schools chooses to celebrate Attendance Awareness Month is with the annual PCS Attendance Awareness Billboard Contest.

Students submit billboard designs centered around the importance of school attendance. Winners are selected at the beginning of the school year and horned with certificates, gift cards, and their own billboard design on display in Putnam County.

This year’s Putnam County Schools Attendance Awareness Billboard winners are:

Jessica Lafferty, George Washington Middle School

Jessica Lafferty, George Washington Middle School, Winning Billboard Design

Rylee Holland, George Washington Middle School

Rylee Holland, George Washington Middle School, Winning Billboard Design

Emma Luikart, Buffalo High School

Emma Luikart, Buffalo High School, Winning Billboard Design

For more information on Attendance Works and the nation-wide Attendance Awareness Campaign, please visit https://www.attendanceworks.org/