Many schools also require teachers to use an attendance sheet to penalize students who are truant or have excessive unexcused absences. Attendance records are often a required part of assessing the value of a class, and finding out problems students may have with the curriculum or even the time and day of the class.
If you plan on teaching a class or workshop, you’ll want to always have an easy to modify, printable attendance sheet on hand to help you keep accurate records. We’ve included a free template on this page for your use.
Improving Attendance in School-Age Children
Attendance sheets give teachers a quick snapshot on how many days their learners are away from school. Many schools even penalize children, grade-wise, for unexcused absences. This is why it’s so important to have a printable attendance sheet on hand and keep accurate records. The good news is that the majority of absences for middle school and elementary school children will be considered “excused absences”. Very few young children are purposefully truant; however, a problem at home could be.
Most absences are considered “excused absences” are when the parent calls in with a reason that a child must stay home – usually due to the child’s illness, or sometimes even tragic circumstances within the family such as an illness or accident.
Class attendance for school-aged children is often viewed as a parental responsibility. Some students will have trouble meeting classes because they have trouble at home. Trouble at home doesn’t always, however, mean that the child comes from a “problem home”. Sometimes students have a family member with an illness or special needs. Sometimes the child themselves is prone to illness or has a chronic condition that keeps them home from school. It’s a standard expectation that students are expected to attend class and to complete all assignments. You may find, however, that chronically absent students may still be able to learn through homework assignments, with proper instruction and the assistance of their parents.
Your attendance sheets will help you identify patterns of absences for your students. If you have a student who is chronically absent, it’s time to speak with the parents to discover what it is that is keeping children away from school. If an absence is unavoidable, you can at least speak with the parents and let them know what days the student should expect to take tests or assessments. Many children who are sick still want to participate in schoolwork, and will happily complete their homework (and day work) assignments under their parents’ guidance.
When Your Attendance Sheet Shows Chronically Tardy School-Age Students
Your attendance sheets will help you identify students that, for one reason or another, have a problem with punctuality. For chronically late students, it is important to get to the root of the problem. If the student, is, for example, dragging their feet and taking their time to get to school every morning, it’s important to mete out an appropriate punishment. Having children stay after school to “make up” the time is an appropriate solution, but you’ll need to speak with the parents so they know their child will be late home from school.
Make sure you always have a copy of the printable attendance sheet in hand when you are preparing to meet with parents.
Use Your Attendance Sheet To Reward School Age Students
Many students respond to rewards for attending class on time. Students who make a special effort to be at school every day deserve some extra attention. Here are some ideas for rewarding students for attending class on time:
- Give away weekly or monthly “Perfect Attendance” certificates to the students who aren’t late or who don’t miss any days.
- For students who have been chronically tardy, or who miss school often, give them a different type of award to aim for. If your students can’t make it to school every day, you can at least reward them if your attendance sheet shows improvement.
- Offer a “Most Improved” prize for attendance on a monthly basis.
- At the end of the year, offer a prize and certificate for the student who never misses a day, but also make sure you offer an award for “Most Improved.”
By rewarding students for attending class regularly, you’re instilling a work ethic, and even the students who are forced to miss class have something to aim for when you offer a reward for “Most Improved”
A Word About Attendance Sheet Templates For Homeschooled Students
Parents that homeschool their children in groups need to keep accurate records for the government and have them available upon request. Recordkeeping is one of the most important aspects of homeschooling. Be sure to find out the specifics from your local school board. Different states and cities may have different regulations. You will need to make sure that the attendance sheet is accurate and that you always keep copies of your students’ attendance records.
You can download a printable attendance sheet template on this page.
In College, Your Attendance Sheet Tells a Story
Excessive absences and tardiness from college students are often a red flag. Many students struggle to attend classes when they’re having problems adjusting to college life.
In college, students are generally responsible for their class attendance, but when the attendance sheet templates show that a student is missing class or showing up late regularly, this signals a problem. Many college students come from small towns or close-knit families and may have trouble adjusting to college life. For many college-age students, this is the first time the student has been “out in the world” on their own. Which means that when they experience trouble, they may not be sure who to turn to, or even what kind of help they need.
Unfortunately, students who rarely show up to class to sign the attendance sheet are often in more than academic trouble. Sometimes chronic absences are a signal of a serious problem, such as depression or a substance abuse disorder. If you’ve noticed a student has been missing class regularly, or rarely signs the attendance sheet, you may want to speak to the student in person before you penalize them. Many college students struggle with mental health disorders and many of them feel too ashamed to tell their teachers if they are struggling.
Make sure that your attendance sheet template is put to good use. Although college students may seem “grown,” when it comes to problems with attendance and tardiness, they often still need a push in the right direction to get help when they are struggling. The struggle of adjusting to college is real, and the attendance sheet can help you identify your student’s struggles.
Make sure you download an attendance sheet template to use in your classes. We’ve got one available to you for free on this page.
When Teaching Adults, Attendance Patterns Can Help You Improve Your Class
Adult learners are usually voluntary learners, meaning they choose to enroll in a class or workshop so they can learn something new. Adults tend to take classes that benefit them professionally or personally, and when they’re disappointed, they may stop attending a class altogether. If the class you’re teaching, whether it’s yoga or Chinese history, suddenly has an increase in absences, it may be time to assess the class.
Questions for teachers to ask themselves when attendance sheets show a pattern of multiple people regularly absent or tardy in class:
- Is the class time inconvenient? Does it pose scheduling conflicts, such as having a start time during rush hour or an early start time that causes students to lose sleep?
- Is the course content boring? If you see an increase in absences as well as bored, glassy-looking faces peering back, or even students falling asleep, you may need to brush up on your presentation skills.
- Is the course content too difficult? Sure, it’s important to be challenged, but sometimes a class may be so technical or difficult that students may end up feeling “lost” and missing classes.
If you’re not sure what problems are causing absences and tardiness in adult learners, you may not be sure what to do. In this case, you may want to pass out an anonymous survey to your class and ask people about the class, its positives and negatives. You can even include questions about the time and day the class is scheduled, and ask your students for more information on what dates work best for you. While you may not be able to improve course attendance for the current class, you’ll glean some valuable information on what you can do in the future to make class attendance a success for everyone.
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