1 in 6 oregon kids are chronically absent


Getting to school can be tough. But we’re here to help.




I need help preventing my child’s absences because…

My Child Isn’t Getting Good Grades

As a parent, you’re in a powerful position to help your child both improve their grades and increase their love of learning. But parents, too, need help figuring out the best way to set their children up for success in school—especially when a child’s learning style is different than their own. Not everyone learns the same way and at the same pace, and even children who are eager to learn can become discouraged when they feel like they’re not keeping up with their classmates.

By getting your child extra help—through tutoring, mentoring, personalized education plans and online learning resources—you can help your child improve their academic performance. And when you talk to your child about what they are working on in school, you show them that school matters and that they can count on you to support them through any academic struggles.

Want to find out if your child is eligible for free tutoring? Wondering about having your child evaluated for a learning challenge? Need help learning how to advocate for your child at school? Below, you’ll find resources and tools to help you guide your child toward academic success, both in and out of school.

Want to find out if your child is eligible for free tutoring? Wondering about having your child evaluated for a learning challenge? Need help learning how to advocate for your child at school? Below, you’ll find resources and tools to help you guide your child toward academic success, both in and out of school.

National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)

This comprehensive document helps parents understand what to expect for their child and from their child’s teachers as early as Kindergarten. It includes an overview of grade-by-grade academic expectations as well as tips and advice on how to talk to your child’s teachers and help your child learn at home.

Department of Education’s Supplemental Educational Services

Your child may be eligible for free tutoring or academic enrichment. This brochure explains what those services are, how you can access them, and where to go in your school district for more help.

When choosing a tutor for your child, you’ll want to make sure that the tutor has an education level in the subject that’s higher than the level they are tutoring, and that they have experience working with kids the same age as your child. Make sure to talk to the tutor about how they plan to measure your child’s progress and what they can do if your child doesn’t show improvement. You can also ask the tutor to share strategies with you to extend the lessons at home and offer extra help when the tutor isn’t available.


This comprehensive website offers tools and advice for parents who want to help their children with different types of learning and attention issues—everything from transitioning between tasks, to building organizational skills, to dealing with more serious learning disabilities. Here you’ll find advice for parents who would like to get their child evaluated for a learning disability and tips on ways to advocate for your child at school. You can also join parent support groups and participate in daily online chats with experts who have experience working with kids ages 3 to 20 with a variety of challenges and needs.

MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership

Mentors can have an invaluable and lasting impact on their mentees. Studies show that kids who have a mentor tend to have better relationships with their families, improved grades and school attendance, and decreased risk of using drugs or engaging in violent behavior. They also tend to make better relationship and lifestyle choices. This site will help you locate mentoring programs in your area that are the best fit for your child and your family.

My Child Is Being Bullied At School

When a child is being bullied, they may not know how to talk about the situation or ask for help. Instead, they may look for ways to avoid school and the bullying situation. Low self-esteem, depression or a sudden drop in grades may be signs that a child is or fears being bullied.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior where one or more children use social or physical power to intimidate their peers or make them feel unsafe. This can happen in person or online (called “Cyberbullying”) and can include making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, or purposely excluding someone.

As a parent, you have the power to fight bullying. Below are some resources that will help you create a safe and supportive environment for your child, both in school and out.


Learn how to recognize the warning signs of bullying, teach your child to be an active witness, and work with your school and community to create a safe and bully-free environment.

The Bully Project

Bullying can affect your entire family. The Bully Project offers resources for parents to help support their children, model behavior that discourages bullying, and help parents learn to stand up for their children when working with schools to resolve a bullying situation.

Know Bullying App

This free smartphone app features conversation starters and tips on how to listen to and talk to your child about bullying. The app also includes advice on what to look out for and how to address the signs of bullying.

Giving Your Child the Confidence to Stand Up to Bullying

As a parent, you are your child’s greatest teacher and supporter when it comes to bullying. When you spend even 15 minutes a day with your child—building with Legos, doing a craft, or going out for ice cream—you’re fostering a positive, open relationship where they will be more likely to come to you when they see bullying. When you reassure your child that it’s not okay for anyone to intimidate or threaten them or their friends, either physically or emotionally, you’re empowering your child to stand up for themselves and those around them. And by allowing your child to see you treat people with kindness—everyone from your spouse to the checkout clerk at the grocery store, you’re giving your child a blueprint for their own behavior.

In addition, parents who get involved with their children’s schools—by meeting teachers, attending afterschool and sporting events, participating in PTA meetings, and volunteering in the classroom—are also more likely to be able to spot bullying and advocate for their children within the school community. Here are some more tips from the Bully Project about how to help create a bully-free environment for your child and your community.

My Child Is Often Sick Or Doesn’t Feel Well

When your child is ill, it can impact your entire family. Illness can also lead to unnecessary absences. But how sick is too sick?

As a parent, you are an important resource and advocate for your child’s health. When you set up regular doctor’s visits for your child, you ensure that their health stays on track. Your child’s doctor can work with you to identify symptoms and treat potential health issues to give them a better chance of curing or managing illness. And even if your child has a chronic health condition, such as asthma, diabetes, oral health or vision problems, your school’s nurse or counselor can help provide medical support throughout the school day.

Read on for more suggestions and resources to set your child up for a lifetime of good health.


2-1-1 is a nationwide emergency and crisis resource center available both online and by phone by dialing 2-1-1. Here you’ll find information on food and nutrition services for families, medical and dental resources, as well as information to help you find affordable healthcare and vaccination options.

New Eyes

Good eyesight is essential for learning, but headaches, resistance to reading and poor grades may be symptoms of vision problems. This website can help you find free comprehensive eye exams and glasses.

EPA’s Resources about Asthma

Learn how you can help manage your child’s asthma and reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks both inside your home and out.

Head Start’s Guide to Family Health and Safety

Good health goes beyond staving off the sniffles. Head Start offers tips on everything from establishing good oral hygiene habits to developing healthy relationships to preventing accidents and injuries.

My Child Helps Care For Another Family Member At Home

As a parent, you often have more responsibilities than you can manage by yourself—including holding down a job, caring for aging or ill family members, and trying to juggle your children’s different schedules. This can take a toll on you as well as on your family.

It’s often difficult or impossible to plan in advance for what’s needed to care for all the members of your family. But if your child is missing school in order to help care for another family member—or because your caring for that person prevents you from helping your child get to school—it can negatively impact your child’s long-term success.

Follow the links below to find information on caregiving assistance and suggestions to help you balance all of your responsibilities.

AARP Caregiving Resource Center

It’s important for parents who care for older or ill family members to have time to take care of themselves, too. This website will help you to assess your needs and develop a plan to take a healthy break from your caregiving duties.

Department of Health and Human Services: Eldercare Locator

The Eldercare Locator is a useful, nationwide service available to anyone who is caring for an aging loved one. This website provides information about the wide variety of healthcare and support services that are available to both senior citizens and their caregivers.

ARCH National Respite Network and Resource Center

This site can help you find both planned and emergency relief services whether you’re caring for a child with special needs or an aging family member.

Center for Parent Information and Resources

Parents of children with disabilities can use this site to find local resources to aid in caregiving and provide information about school services, transportation, therapy and more.

Child Care Aware

Looking for safe, affordable and good quality daycare for your young children? Wondering if your child is eligible to enroll in a free preschool program? Child Care Aware will help you find programs in your area to meet your—and your child’s—needs.

Our Family Is Struggling With Mental Or Emotional Health

When your child is struggling with mental or emotional health issues, getting them out the door in the morning can be tough on you both. Fear, depression and social anxiety are just a few of the issues that can make it difficult for a child to feel comfortable going to school. Leaving the comfort of home can also be hard for children who are processing traumatic life events or working through gender identity issues.

As a parent, you may worry about the challenges your child is coping with during the school day and question whether it’s better for them to stay home or go to school. But missing school can end up reinforcing anxiety rather than making it better. Getting help from a qualified professional and developing relationships with your child’s teachers and school counselors are your family’s best bet when addressing a mental or emotional health challenge.

It can be hard to understand or know how to counsel a child who is dealing with these struggles. The resources below can help you find good medical care and emotional support so that you don’t have to go at it alone.

KidsHealth Emotions & Behaviors

Is your child dealing with a temporary phase or a serious problem? This site offers perspective and advice on dealing with everything from toddler temper tantrums to teen depression.

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

NAMI is a nationwide organization that offers resources and support—including an anonymous, free help line—to people who struggle with mental illness and their families.

Mental Health America

MHA’s comprehensive database can help you find the appropriate mental health professional for your needs, whether you’re looking for a family counselor, child psychiatrist or a group therapist.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMSHA maintains a roster of local treatment providers and offers 24-hour mental health support, including medical referrals, disaster relief and suicide prevention.

Our Family Is Having Difficulties With Housing Or Food

When you’re dealing with housing challenges or struggling to feed a growing family, it can be overwhelming. During times like these, it may be hard to keep your child’s attendance on track. But when you make sure your child stays in school, it helps them maintain academic and emotional stability and helps ensure they receive good nutrition during your family’s transitional period.

School and aftercare programs are great places to ensure that children’s nutritional and physical needs are being met. When school is out, parents can also help address their children’s food needs by enrolling their children in summer learning programs. Beyond effectively reducing summer learning loss, 86% of these programs provide kids with at least one meal or snack each day–and 74% offer more than just a snack.

When you’re going through a tough time, you can bridge the difficulties until you’re able to manage on your own again. Follow the links below to find resources to help your family get back on solid ground.

2-1-1 Food and Housing

2-1-1 is a nationwide emergency and crisis resource center available both online and by phone by dialing 2-1-1. Here you’ll find local food assistance programs for your family, information about free and reduced-cost school breakfast and lunch, and ways to help bridge your child’s out-of-school food needs during the summer.

2-1-1 also has information to help you find safe, clean housing—both emergency and longer-term—and help you with utility payments and housing repairs.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

SNAP offers food assistance for your growing family when you’re struggling to keep enough food in the pantry. Start here to see if you qualify or to contact your local SNAP office.

National School Lunch Plan (NSLP)

All children need a healthy lunch to fuel their learning during the school day. The NSLP ensures that every student receives a nutritionally balanced meal at lunchtime, either free or at a low cost. This website can help you determine if your child qualifies.

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children

This supplemental nutrition and health education program supports mothers, infants and children up to five years old who come from low-income families in order to ensure a healthy start for both mom and baby.

National Center for Homeless Education

Shifts in housing and sudden homelessness are disruptive, but you can minimize their impact on your child’s education. This site will help you maintain the continuity of your child’s schooling during times of transition.

Resources for Homeless Youth

A one-stop spot for homeless youth and those who help care for them, this site offers emergency and long-term housing assistance as well as information on programs, resources and publications to help get homeless youth into a safe and stable environment.

Your child’s  daily, on-time attendance is critical to their success in school. And while some challenges to your child’s school attendance are unavoidable, it’s important to understand the impact of each absence.

A student is considered chronically absent if they miss only two days of school per month (18 days in a year), whether the absences are excused or unexcused. This is true for children as early as elementary school, when they are at a higher risk of falling behind in reading. Even one year of chronic absence can cause a child to fall behind academically and decrease a child’s chances of graduating from high school, which can have long-term consequences on their financial independence, physical well-being and mental health.

The good news? Attending school every day increases a child’s chances of success in school and in life.

Student Pledge –
Pledge to attend!

Did You Know?

Children who are not reading at grade level by the end of third grade are 18% less likely to graduate.*
Students are considered at risk when they are chronically absent – that’s 10% of the school year.
1 in 6 Oregon children is chronically absent.*