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Spread the news: Attendance matters!

September is National Attendance Awareness Month, and HISD has teamed up with dozens of local and national community partners to help us get the word out.

Whether you’re riding a METRO bus, visiting a neighborhood park, doing laundry at a washateria, or checking out a book from a local library, you are bound to get the message: attending school every day is important, and we’re determined to get kids who are not regularly doing so back in class—and keep them there until they graduate.

On this page, you will find a number of links and valuable resources related to attendance, dropout prevention efforts, and much more.

Please, help us spread the news, and call 713-556-7017 if you have any questions.

Why focus on attendance?

Attendance matters for success in school and in life, and absences can easily add up to academic trouble.

At HISD, missing more than 10 percent (or 17 days) of school a year can lead to a student not receiving a grade or being retained, but more importantly, it represents lost time in the classroom and a lost opportunity to learn.

  • A child is considered chronically absent if they miss two or more days a month. That includes unexcused and excused absences.
  • Attendance matters as early as kindergarten. Studies show that children who miss too many days in kindergarten and first grade have trouble mastering reading.
  • By grade 6, chronic absence is a proven warning sign that a student is at risk of dropping out.
  • By grade 9, good attendance can predict graduations rates even better than eighth-grade test scores.
  • Attendance also affects a school’s budget. When students miss class, their campus’ average daily attendance rate drops, which can reduce the funding it receives to support its programs. (Learn more about how public schools are funded here.) 

For complete details on HISD’s attendance policy, please visit the Federal & State Compliance website.

Youth Watch: Helping us help kids get back into school

Youth Watch is a call to action for parents, grandparents, families, and community members to assist HISD in helping former students get back into school.

If you know a young person between the ages of 13 and 21 who is not currently attending classes and has not yet graduated, let us know by calling 713-556-7017.

We will reach out to these young people to develop a comprehensive plan to get them back in school, and connect them with any resources they might need to counteract problems that prevent regular attendance.

HISD has a diverse portfolio of educational programs available, including a number of non-traditional options for students with jobs or other obligations. There is even a resource available for adults age 22 and older who once attended an HISD high school. Please call 713-556-7017 for details.

Grads Within Reach walk

Grad Reach Held every fall since 2002, this annual event sees hundreds of caring district employees and community volunteers visit the homes of students who have not yet returned to class by the second week of the regular academic year.

Although members of Team HISD work diligently all year long to prevent students from dropping out and to get those who have left back in class, the purpose of this high-visibility event is three-fold: to show students =1) that they matter, 2) that many people care about them, and 3) that they are genuinely missed when they don’t show up.

It also gives volunteers an opportunity to share information about the many options available to former students and to persuade them to re-enroll and earn their diploma.

The 2014 Grads Within Reach walk is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 6.