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School Attendance Contract Template

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

School attendance is no laughing matter! It's associated with better academic achievement and better behavioral outcomes for students. This lesson offers a template for a contract you can use to help improve your students' attendance of school.

Using an Attendance Contract

Are you struggling to manage your students' attendance of school? As a teacher, it can be really frustrating to work with students who do not understand how important it is for them to show up. Of course, attendance is a complicated thing and when students are struggling with illness or major life stresses, you might have to settle for spotty attendance. Often, though, attendance is a behavioral issue and one that can have a strong impact on students' ability to achieve academically.

One thing that can help you improve students' attendance is the use of an attendance contract. Like other kinds of contracts, an attendance contract represents mutually-agreeable goals as well as stipulations that all parties involved must follow. When it comes to school attendance, a contract helps students see that you take the issue seriously. It also provides you a clear document to look back to when problems do arise, making consequences more fair and transparent.

There are many different ways an attendance contract might look, but this lesson provides you a template of the important components it should include.

Attendance Contract Template

An attendance contract should be framed and written with your particular class' needs in mind and in those cases where attendance my be distrupted by a known element (such as special medical needs), adjusted accordingly. However, all attendance contracts should include a title, a specific purpose statement, responsibilities of both the student and adults (teachers, parents), and details about consequences should school attendance falter.

Title

Give the attendance contract a title to show that it is serious and official. For instance:

  • Jordan's Attendance Contract
  • Improving Henry's Attendance

Purpose

It is really important to clearly define the purpose of the contract. This purpose should be one that all parties involved agree to. Make sure to use specific language so that there can be no room for dispute about whether or not the contract is meeting its purpose. For example:

  • The purpose of this contract is to ensure that Jordan attends school every day from now until the end of the school year, unless she is sick with a fever or other injury for which she can provide a doctor's note.
  • This contract is meant to make sure that Henry attends each class every day that he is in school. If he is marked present in school, he will also be present for math, English, history, chemistry, and any other class that is on his schedule for that day.

Student Agreements

Here, you will list the things that the student will do in order to achieve the purpose of the contract. Be specific and make sure students understand exactly what you are expecting of them. For instance:

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