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Issue – Chronic Absenteeism –  Part 5

Q How do I find out how much of the school my child has missed?

A: Talk to someone at your child’s school. This can be as simple as reaching out to your child's teacher or calling the office and asking to speak with someone about your child’s attendance. A school administrator or a school counselor can discuss with you in more detail about the effects of any absences and plan a strategy for decreasing absences. It is never too late to start that conversation!

Riverside Community School District offers parents the opportunity to access their child's attendance, grades, and lunch account online. To access this information please go to the Riverside JMC Webpage and follow the directions to get access.  If you are new to the district or new to JMC please contact Mr. Jamie Meek, District-Wide Technology Director, at the Middle-High School  at 712-482-6464 or email him at jmeek@riverside.k12.ia.us.

Student success plans by grade level: https://www.attendanceworks.org/resources/student-attendance-success-plans/

Note: if you are not a parent or guardian, the school will not be able to release information about a child to you.

Q How can I encourage my students to attend school?

Parents and guardians should take an active role in establishing expectations for attendance, communicating rules consistently and enforcing consequences immediately if your child skips class.

Other ways to create good habits: establish a carpool, watch them get on the bus in the morning, contact the school office to ensure they arrive and maintain a regular routine. Finally, always look for negative behavior changes like alcohol use, aggression or depression as signals to get help.

Q My child is not interested in school and does not see the point of attending on a regular basis. What can I do to help?

Talk to your teen and a caring educator at school about courses and activities that can help them connect academics to their future. There's a world of options available!

  • Career and Technical Education classes connect the classroom with careers. Not the old “Voc Ed” or “shop class” you may know, these classes offer students hands-on opportunities to explore any future pathway they can imagine and can help students get there. They're available in every district. They even offer opportunities to join "clubs" that extend classroom learning.

  • Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates is a proven way to engage teens and help them stay in school. Ask if it’s available at your child’s school; if it’s not, ask if they can add it! Riverside, with the support of the Iowa West Foundation, will be adding an iJAG Program for the 2023-2024 school year!

  • School counselors are educators trained to help students with academics, finding their career path, and navigating social and emotional development. Find out if your school has a counselor; talk to them about what options might benefit your teen to find their path.

  • A wide array of activities are available and sponsored by The Iowa High School Athletic Association, Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union and the Iowa High School Music Association. Ask your school what they offer; many have clubs and activities beyond those the state associations coordinates.

  • Academic and Career Planning-If your child attends a Riverside, they have interacted with MAP– an academic and career planning tool for students. Ask your teen to log in and explore what’s there! The State of Iowa also has many resources at the Iowa Workforce Development Site. These resources can help your student connect with their interests, aptitudes, and future goals.

  • Avenue of Scholars Southwest Iowa-Avenue Scholars Southwest Iowa serves eight school districts (Riverside!!) in the region. Avenue Scholars Southwest Iowa coaches spend countless hours dedicated to coaching students in personal, professional, and academic development. We ensure all our students have opportunities for real-world, hands-on experiences in the career field of their interest.