Attend to Win!

  • Attend to Win!

    Attendance is an Equity Issue! Attend to Win!

    The bad news: 46% of Fargo Public School students miss too much school. One in four students is chronically absent, which harms their chances for success now and into their futures.

    The good news: when parents, students, and the school work to improve attendance, kids win!

    Students must be present and engaged to learn. Poor attendance is solvable!

    You may not be able to beat the odds, but you can change them. Students who attend school are more likely to learn, graduate, and succeed.

    Research says:

    • Patterns of absences often begin in kindergarten and first grade. Nationally, one in 10 kindergarten and first-grade students are chronically absent. 

    • Missing school in the early grades has a more powerful influence on literacy development for low-income students than it does for their more affluent peers. Put another way, school matters more to children from low-income families. 

    • Attendance problems in the K and first grade years set patterns for absenteeism in later grades. Students with the highest absenteeism typically score lower on state assessments. 

    • Indicators reflecting poor attendance, behavior issues, and course failure in sixth grade identify 60% of the students who will not graduate from high school. 

    • Attendance in the ninth grade - the transition year - was a key indicator of whether students would finish high school. 

    • Attendance and studying were more predictive of dropout than test scores or other student characteristics. 

    • 9th grade attendance was a better predictor of dropout than 8th grade test scores 

    Daily school attendance directly benefits students. Students who attend school daily beginning in kindergarten are more likely to: 

    • Learn

    • Graduate

    • Be workforce, post-secondary, military ready and have better employment opportunities

    • Stay out of the juvenile justice system

    • Develop skills in communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and citizenship (social-emotional learning)

    • Build skills to navigate life setbacks and social dilemmas

    • Represent themselves and their views in the school

    • Complete plans for post-secondary education

    • Prepare for jobs that don’t exist

    • Break the poverty cycle

    • Feel connected to their local and larger community learn to be responsible, respectful, and to develop a growth mindset 

    Together, we can tackle and improve attendance!


    • Be respectful: be on time, daily, in scheduled classes

    • Be responsible, which includes:

      • Being prepared with materials needed for learning

      • Connecting with teachers to make up missing school work

      • Developing and maintaining healthy routines for sleep, nutrition, and getting to school


    • Commit to getting your student (s) to school on time:

      • Teach good evening and morning routines to make school an expectation

      • Plan for transportation, if school transportation is not used

    • Notify the attendance line when your student is absent (telephone, text, email, written note). The attendance line accepts calls 24 hours per day.

    • Answer or return telephone calls from the school

    • Keep your contact information updated if telephone numbers, email address or physical address change

    • Stay abreast of your student’s absences. Absence can be monitored in PowerSchool. 

    • Invite school staff to help solve attendance problems or struggles

    • Support your students; advocate with teachers for make-up work


    • Take accurate daily attendance as soon as practicable after the class bell

    • Create an engaging and welcoming classroom environment where the importance of school is communicated

    • Monitor attendance data as required and communicate regarding chronic absence with:

      • Parents & caregivers 

      • Administrators & counselors 

    • Connect with the student regarding make up work


    • Communicate the importance of school attendance to students and families

    • Build respectful relationships with students and parents

    • Conference with students and parent/caregivers when student attendance patterns are: at-risk, chronically absent, or severely chronically absent

    • Work with students and families to determine barriers impacting attendance and connect families, as needed, with attendance supports, including but not limited to school counselors, Student Wellness Family Facilitators, and community resources

    • Monitor building attendance and celebrate success with the student body, individual students/caregivers and staff

    • Ensure the school district holds itself accountable for on-time district-provided transportation

Contact Us

  • For more information on the importance of attendance or for help with student attendance, contact the attendance team:

    Dr. Tamara Uselman, director of equity and inclusion or 701-446-1072

    Gabriel Whitney, attendance specialist or 701-446-1013

    Nick Hawkins, attendance specialist or 701-446-1015