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A Message from the Superintendent Regarding Student Attendance and Punctuality

Dear El Monte Union Community, 
The El Monte Union High School District Board of Trustees designated September as National School Attendance Awareness Month during the Board meeting on September 6, 2023. School attendance rates have been severely impacted across the country since the reopening of schools during the pandemic. 
At El Monte Union, the average daily attendance dropped from 97% in the 2016-17 school year, to 94% in 2022-23. Additionally, we continue to see a significant number of students arriving late to school. Recently, the District adjusted its start time from 7:55 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. due to the passage of California Senate Bill 328, which requires all high schools to start their regular school day no earlier than 8:30 a.m. 
As students continue to settle into the new school year, I would like to emphasize the importance of student attendance and punctuality. School attendance and punctuality have an impact on students’ academic success and personal well-being. Key implications for attendance and punctuality include:

  1. Academic Achievement: Regular attendance is directly linked to academic success. When students attend class consistently and arrive on time, they have the opportunity to fully engage in their learning. Consistent attendance is a cornerstone of learning and sets the foundation for future success in adulthood.  
  2. Establishing Responsible Habits: Punctuality teaches students essential life skills, such as time management and responsibility. These habits extend beyond the classroom and play a crucial role in their future endeavors. 
  3. Building a Positive School Culture: Schools with high attendance rates and minimal tardiness foster a positive school culture. It sends a message that education is valued and that every student’s presence is important. This, in turn, motivates students to take their education more seriously and contributes to a successful school community. 
  4. Reducing Achievement Gaps: Disparities in attendance can exacerbate achievement gaps among students. Ensuring that all students attend school regularly and on time is a vital step toward addressing these inequalities and providing an equitable education for every student. 

 To support the success of all our students, we kindly request the assistance of our parents/guardians in ensuring that their child maintains good school attendance and arrives at school on time each day. Here is how you can assist your child:

  • Create a Consistent Routine: Establish a daily routine that ensures your child has enough time to get ready for school and arrive on time. Our schools provide a nutritious breakfast before school starts as well as a snack during the morning nutrition break. 
  • Monitor Progress: Work with your child to set attainable goals and celebrate their achievement. 
  • Open Communication: Please let your child’s school administrator or counselor know if your child is facing challenges that may lead to absences. We are here to assist you and work together to find solutions. 

Stay informed of your child's class attendance through the District’s parent portal (ParentVUE App) or by contacting your child’s school to get an update. For more information on the ParentVUE App, please visit the District’s Parent Learning Portal.  
Please remember that our normal start to the school day is 8:30 a.m. For more information on your school’s schedule, including late start dates, please visit the school’s website. If there are underlying issues affecting your child’s attendance, please reach out to us so we can connect you with resources and support services.
We believe that by working together, our students will thrive and succeed throughout the school year. Thank you for your continued partnership and dedication to the success of all our students. 
Edward Zuniga, Ed.D