September is Attendance Awareness Month “Every School Day Counts”

Orange, CA – August 29, 2016 – Attendance Awareness Month will be celebrated Districtwide in September to promote the fact that good attendance is essential to academic success.

Orange Unified School District joined this nationwide movement to increase stakeholder understanding about the value of regular school attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism for the 2016-2017 school year.

“When students are chronically absent, meaning they have missed 10 percent or 18 days of school per year, they can fall behind academically and it is harder for them to keep up.  These absences, whether they are excused or unexcused, can affect student performance,” stated Superintendent of Schools Michael Christensen. “Our goal is to ensure that every student attends school regularly and on time.”

Research about “chronic absences” shows that:

  • Children chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read at grade level by the end of the third grade.
  • By middle and high school, chronic absence is a proven early warning that a student is more likely to fail academic courses and is at risk of eventually dropping out of school.

If a student must miss school more than three days, the parents or guardians must contact the school as soon as possible and medical verification may be required.  It is important to remember that “going out of town” when school is in session is considered an unexcused absence by law. The District suggests these practical tips to support regular attendance all year long:

  • Make sure your child has a morning routine and regular bedtime.
  • Lay out clothes and get backpacks ready the night before.
  • Ensure your child goes to school every day unless they are truly sick (e.g. a fever, vomiting or diarrhea). 
  • Avoid scheduling vacations or doctor’s appointments when school is in session.
  • Talk to teachers and counselors for advice if your child feels anxious about going to school.
  • Develop backup plans for getting to school if something comes up.  Call on a family member, neighbor, or another parent to take your child to school.
  • Contact the school administration for additional assistance with regular daily on-time attendance. 

EVERY SCHOOL DAY COUNTS for student success and achievement. 


The Orange Unified School District educates approximately 26,000 PreK-12th grade students in the Cities of Orange, Villa Park, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Santa Ana, and unincorporated county areas.  In partnership with our community, we provide a safe, equitable, and innovative culture of learning for each scholar to have a competitive EDGE as a leader.