Attendance Matters

1 out of 10 kindergarten and first-grade students miss at least 18 days of school – a full 10 percent of the school year. But only 17 percent of those kids will read on grade level after 3rd grade, research shows. By middle school, chronic absence is one of the leading indicators of dropping out. And by 9th grade, it’s a better predictor of dropping out than test scores. This trend starts as early as kindergarten and continues through high school, contributing to achievement gaps and ultimately to dropout rates.

Every child should be at school every day, and our students share with us why it is important to be at school every day.

For help with attendance, contact your school’s Student Engagement Specialist (SES) or Family & Community Service Support Provider (FCSSP.)

The good news is that chronic absence is a problem we can solve. While addressing some attendance barriers—such as health, poor transportation, and unstable housing—can often require longer-term strategies, everyone can make a difference by helping students and families understand that going to school every day and avoiding absences whenever possible is critical to realizing their hopes and dreams.

That’s why our school district, in partnership with the United Way, the Campaign for Grade Level Reading, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hartford Public Library, MegaEducation, Achieve Hartford!, the City of Hartford, and Attendance Works, is promoting Attendance Awareness. We’re asking parents, schools, city agencies, community nonprofits, businesses and others to deliver the message that attendance matters for success in school and in life, and that absences can easily add up to academic challenges.

Parents, help your child succeed in school by building the habit of Good Attendance early.
If you need help, call: 860-695-8400. Our Welcome Center is happy to assist you.

HPS Attendance in the News

Our Fall 2022 Attendance Poster and Video Contest Winners!

2023 Attendance Poster Contest Winner - Breakthrough Magnet School North

OUR WINNING VIDEO from Betances STEM Magnet School!

When do absences become a problem?

Here's what you can do to help.

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.

Here are some tips for building good attendance habits:

• Set a regular bed time and morning routine.
• Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
• Find out what day school starts and make sure your child has the required immunizations.
• Introduce your child to his/her teachers and classmates before school starts to help him/her transition.
• Develop back-up plans for getting to school if something comes up.
• Avoid medical appointments and extended trips when school is in session.

Downloadable Resources

We’ve provided some posters and fliers to help develop good attendance habits. Click below to download them, and consider keeping them nearby or stick them on your fridge for a daily reminder about the importance of attendance.

Download Resources

Take a guess at how few absences it takes for Good Attendance, how many are Warning Signs, and how many result in Chronic Absence.
Then, flip over the cards to see the answers.

Additional Resources

Partners & Supporters

Attendance Matters is an initiative sponsored by the Hartford Campaign for Grade Level Reading, AttendanceWorks and Hartford Public Schools, with the help of United Way of Central & Northeastern Connecticut, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Hartford Public Library,  MegaEducation, Achieve Hartford!, and the City of Hartford to increase community awareness about the importance of daily attendance, and to inspire action to get students into their classroom seats.

Ensuring that all our students show up for the first day (and every day) is critical and we can all help in this effort.