Need something else?

You can learn about attendance requirements for public school students.

You can also get information about:

  • Student attendance policies
  • Guidelines for reporting a student absence
  • The School Every Day campaign and resources that help promote student attendance

The City requires young people between ages 6 and 17 to attend school on a full-time basis. Students with less than 90% attendance are more likely to have lower test scores and not graduate from high school.

Attendance Requirement Exceptions

The following groups qualify as exceptions to the age requirements for attendance:

  • Minors who have graduated from high school
  • Students who have earned a general equivalency diploma (GED)
  • Students 16 or 17 years of age who have been issued a full-time employment certificate

Absence Notes

Parents must submit a note explaining why a student was absent from school.

You should provide a note from a doctor or health-care professional if a student's illness is causing long or frequent absences. If a student has been absent from school for another reason, give the school documentation explaining why, such as an exam schedule or court order.

    Parent Notification of Absence

    The school calls the parent on the first day that a child is absent from school. The school sends a postcard on the second day.

    Schools keep records of parent contact information to follow up on student absences.

    Attendance Improvement and Dropout Prevention

    Attendance Improvement Dropout Prevention (AIDP) is a State Education Department effort to improve the attendance and academic performace of students at risk of dropping out. Parents can work with their child's school's AIDP coordinator or guidance counselor to seek help with children who are frequently absent.

    School Attendance Responsibilities

    Teachers must keep accurate attendance records for their students. Principals must provide attendance records to auditors on request. The Attendance Coordinator oversees the school's attendance program under the principal's supervision. 

    Each school has an Attendance Committee made up of teachers, administrators, pupil personnel, guidance counselors, parents, and students.

    Learn more about student attendance policies.

    Call 311 for assistance by phone.

    You can learn about the guidelines for parents and guardians to report that a child will be absent from school.

    If your child is absent from school because of sickness or a family emergency, call the school and let a staff member know on the evening before or morning of the absence. Even if the school is not yet open for the day, you can usually leave a message on the school's voicemail.

    If your child has a planned absence because of religious observances or medical reasons, send a note to the school before the absence.

    Contact your school.

    Call 311 for assistance by phone.

    The School Every Day campaign provides information on government and nonprofit programs to help families overcome the challenges that keep kids out of school.

    Other resources include:

    • Information about managing asthma at school
    • Mental health programs
    • Bullying and cyber-bullying intervention
    • Options for pregnant students and students who are parents

    Parents and guardians can get help improving their children's attendance in school. Missing school days can lead to dropping out. To see your child’s attendance record, you can use the NYC Schools Account. Contact your child's school for information on creating an account.

    Learn about services to help improve children's attendance at school.

    Call 311 for assistance by phone.

    Resources

    Academic Support

    You can go to homeworknyc.org for online homework help.

    Anti-Bullying Resources

    You can get information about School Bullying intervention strategies and advice.

    Asthma Resources

    Get information about managing asthma.

    Family Care Resources

    For child care referrals, you can call the Department of Health’s Child Care Resource and Referral Consortium at (888) 469-5999. 

    For information about adult day care services, call the Department for the Aging’s Alzheimer’s and Caregiver Resource Center at (212) 442-3086.

    Housing, Food and Financial Support

    If you’re behind on rent or facing eviction, you can learn about Eviction Prevention services, including the City’s Homebase program and Family Eviction Prevention Services.

    To find out if you qualify for more than 30 city, state, and federal benefit programs, visit ACCESS NYC.

    Immigration Resources

    For information, immigration advice, and legal assistance with applying for citizenship, you can call the New York Immigration Hotline at (800) 566-7636 from Monday to Friday, 8 AM to 6 PM.

    Mental Health Resources

    For free mental health crisis information and referrals, call NYC Well at (888) 692-9355.

    Mentoring Students

    You can get information from NYC Service about how to get involved in education-based volunteering. Search for volunteer opportunities in New York City.