PSB Attendance Communication
Last Updated: August 30, 2022
The communication below provides important information from the Public Schools of Brookline.
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Learning how to consistently attend school and class is one of the most important skills children develop during their education. Students who consistently attend school are significantly more likely to perform well academically, develop meaningful relationships with students and adults, and learn important social-emotional skills (e.g., how to manage stress).
In contrast, students who have one or more absences a month are more likely to fall behind academically, feel disconnected from their peers and adults, and experience increased levels of stress, worry, and other challenging emotions. Because of this, supporting strong attendance is among our highest priorities as a district.
What is the PSB attendance policy?
As a reminder, all students in PSB are expected to attend school every day, arrive on time every day, stay for the full school day, and attend all scheduled classes. According to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's (DESE) attendance Policy, a student must be at school, at a school-related activity, or receiving academic instruction for at least half (50%) the school day to be counted as present.
Per School Committee policy, schools are only allowed to excuse absences that are a result of personal illness, significant life stressors (e.g., death of a family member), observing religious holidays, attending a medical appointment that cannot be made outside of school hours, participating in a legal proceeding, serving a suspension, attending educational opportunities that have been pre-approved by the school, or other situations deemed appropriate by the principal or Head of School. All other absences (e.g., repetitive absences due to illness that are not documented by medical professionals, family vacations, non-emergency family situations) are required to be marked as unexcused.
If your child will arrive at school after the beginning of the school day or is unable to attend school, please call the main office as soon as possible.
- BEEP - All Locations: (617) 713-5471
- BHS (Class of 2023 and 2024): (617) 713-5035
- BHS (Class of 2025 and 2026): (617) 713-5190
- Baker: (617) 879-4508
- Driscoll: (617) 879-4250
- Heath: (617) 879-4570
- Lawrence: (617) 879-4343
- Lincoln: (617) 879-4600
- Pierce: (617) 730-2572
- Ridley: (617) 879-4410
- Runkle: (617) 879-4680
Why is disrupted attendance a problem?
Even though a few absences per year might not have a long-term impact, it does not take much to set students back. Once students start missing two or more days of school each month, or 18 days over the course of a school year, they can start falling behind academically and many children begin to experience increased stress and worry about attending school.
Why do students struggle to attend school consistently?
There are many reasons why students struggle to attend school and classes consistently. This can range from stress and worry about specific school-based activities to not feeling confident about academic skills. When students begin to struggle with attendance, it is important that the school, student, and family work together to identify the things that are making attendance challenging.
What is PSB doing about school attendance?
PSB is committed to providing you and your child the support and resources they need to be at school on time every day. As part of this work, we will be actively monitoring the attendance of all students. When a student begins struggling with class or school attendance, an adult from school will reach out to their caregivers to discuss support options.
We want to partner with students and caregivers to make sure that all students are here, happy, and healthy. If you have any concerns about attendance, please reach out immediately to your child’s school (e.g., main office, counselor, teacher). We are here to help!
Supporting Strong Attendance
Below we offer some suggestions that caregivers have found helpful in supporting their children’s attendance.
Sleep. Keep a regular bedtime and establish a morning routine. This is not always easy!
Screen time. Turn off all electronics at bedtime. Have a family media plan and make sure screens are all off before bedtime.
Advance planning. Avoid the morning rush! If possible, pack backpacks and prepare clothing in the evening.
Illnesses. If you are not sure when to keep your child home due to illness, please contact the school nurse.
Anxiety and fears. There has been a big increase in anxiety since the COVID pandemic started. If your child is having a lot of anxiety or worries about school, reach out to your child’s teacher or school counselor. We have a lot of professionals who can help.
Vacation time, doctor’s visits, and other events. Avoid scheduling vacations and doctor’s appointments while school is in session. These absences can make attending school more challenging for some children.