Ensuring students are regularly attending school is a key factor in academic success. It also indicates high student engagement for the rest of the year.
September attendance sets the tone for the entire academic year, and research highlights the broader impact of absenteeism during that month not only on absent students, but also on their peers and the overall classroom environment.
School attendance is back to pre-pandemic levels
As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic presented unprecedented challenges to education worldwide, which led to a drop in school attendance even in Nova Scotia. With restrictions in place, students faced disruptions to their learning routines. Despite these challenges, there is reason to celebrate this year.
Over the past three months, from September to November, public school attendance in Nova Scotia rose to a high of above 91 percent. This is a strong improvement from the average of 85 percent recorded in 2022 and 2021, indicating a return to pre-pandemic levels.
During this back-to-school period, Scott Armstrong, our Chair of the Board actively raised awareness about the importance of school attendance. His goal was not only to emphasize its role as an indicator of academic success and high engagement, but it was also to rally support from parents, families, teachers, and administrators to encourage students to regularly attend school.
This year’s success in restoring attendance to pre-pandemic levels was a collective achievement. Our team at the Association extends its gratitude to parents and families for their unwavering support in encouraging students to regularly attend school. Their involvement has been instrumental in putting students in the best position to thrive academically.
The impact of attendance and the need for continued support
School attendance is not just about being physically present in the classroom; it is a vital indicator of academic success and high engagement. Research indicates (see attached below) that students who consistently miss school not only face challenges in their own academic progress but also require adjustments in classroom instructions that affect their peers. That’s why encouraging regular attendance is crucial for creating an optimal learning environment for all students.
As we celebrate this year’s achievement, our commitment to encouraging students to regularly attend school remains steadfast. The goal is to provide ongoing support to students, with the collaboration of parents and families, to ensure that they remain engaged and successful throughout the academic year.
This year’s positive trajectory sets the stage for continued success in fostering academic achievement and high engagement among students across Nova Scotia.