Families of pre-k children often believe that missing school during these years won’t make much of a difference; however, every day of learning counts. Establishing good attendance habits in pre-k is a predictor of positive attendance in later grades. Additionally, it is much more difficult for educators and parents to track developmental and academic growth when children are frequently absent.
Even though pre-k enrollment is voluntary, once a child is enrolled state code addressing attendance must be followed. To support development of positive attendance habits, each county pre-k program must establish and maintain attendance procedures. These attendance procedures must be implemented across all pre-k classrooms and include information for families on the benefits of regular attendance. County attendance procedures must include provisions for working with families when children are chronically absent or tardy. Attendance procedures must include a process for administrators, teachers, and parents to pursue disenrollment of a child if they concur that requiring further attendance for that school year is not in the best interest of the child. Once a child is dis-enrolled, re-enrollment is not guaranteed. Parents should be encouraged to contact their child’s teacher each day of absence. When a parent does not contact the school, school personnel should attempt contact with the family. Contact with the family is required when child is absent and bus transportation is provided to ensure that all children are accounted for each day. This contact with families of children who ride a school bus must be done within a reasonable time of scheduled arrival. Procedures must also include provisions for children with documented chronic medical conditions as defined in WVBE Policy 2110: Attendance.
Attendance records must be maintained in WVEIS for all pre-k classrooms, including collaborative classrooms located off-site of public school buildings. Therefore, the county must establish a process for classroom teachers to either enter attendance in WVEIS or provide attendance information to a designee for entry. The process for entering attendance information into WVEIS should include mechanisms for utilizing attendance documentation for follow-up when a child is absent.