THE WHY

Requirements

Programs: Head Start

Promote regular attendance, manage attendance issues & support the attendance of homeless children.

Implement a process to ensure children are safe when they do not arrive at school. 

Prohibit or severely limit the use of suspension due to a child’s behavior. Such suspensions may only be temporary in nature.


THE HOW & WHAT

Strategies

Interpreting regulations & putting them into practice can be challenging. Below are strategies to ensure this component is met:

 

Attendance & Absence Instructions 

Staff share information with families at the beginning of the program year & throughout the year regarding the benefits of regular attendance, policy & sign-in/out procedure.

When a parent calls in an unplanned absence, staff record the absence type & sign using their full legal signature.

Authorized adult picking-up a child for the first time must prove their identity through inspection of a valid ID card & are asked to sign using their full legal signature.

LINKS/RESOURCES

Attendance & Absence Instructions (Sample)


Child No-Show/No-Call

To ensure children are safe when they do not arrive at school, any time a child is unexpectedly absent without notification from the parent/guardian, a designated staff member must attempt to contact the family by phone within one hour of the child's expected start time.

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Recording Attendance

Parent/Authorized adult must sign using their full legal signature. The same signature that was used when signing the application for services or that is on an authorized adults identification.

Parent/Authorized adult must enter the actual time of arrival & departure on a sign-in/sign-out sheet. 

LINKS/RESOURCES

Attendance Reminder

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Absences

Documented on the attendance record & includes:

  • Child name

  • Date

  • Reason of absence (sick child, family emergency etc...)

  • Full legal signature of staff or parent 

Tracking system in place for all absence types

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Strategies to Promote Attendance

Analyze attendance data to identify patterns of absences that may put the child at risk of missing 10% of program days per year.

Staff work directly with families to identify barriers & develop strategies to improve attendance.

Anytime a classroom's monthly attendance falls below 90%, a classroom level attendance action plan must be completed too.

LINKS/RESOURCES

Promoting Attendance Flyer/Poster

Child Success Plan

Tips for Good Attendance in Preschool

How to Help Your Child Have Successful Bedtime

How to Help Your Child Have a Successful Morning

 

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Community Resources

Staff must support the attendance of families experiencing homelessness by utilizing community resources for transportation to & from the program. 

LINKS/RESOURCES

Public Transportation

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Suspension & Expulsion

A procedure must be in place that assures steps are taken to prohibit or severely limit the use of temporary suspension or eventual expulsion due to a child’s behavior.

The procedure should include processes to follow when a child exhibits persistent & serious challenging behaviors. Possible strategies are explored & all steps taken to address such problems & to facilitate the child’s safe participation in the program must be well documented.

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THE BOTTOM LINE

Monitoring

This program monitoring tool may be used to document self-monitoring & the required annual program self-evaluation

 
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Reference

Head Start Performance Standard: 1302.16 & 1302.17

 

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