In the News  
Boy in classroom at deskResearch is clear, and our own data confirms that students with satisfactory attendance have a better chance to succeed in school, while chronically absent students are at high risk of failure and of dropping out altogether.
Challenge 5 engages students and their parents to commit to the first step in school success - regular attendance. For students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, attendance really matters.


What is the challenge?
Why does it matter? 

What can I do? 












 What is the challenge?



 Parris challenge 5Man and woman from community making high-five gesturePre-kindergarten boy making high-five gesture

Challenge 5 and the motto Strive for less than 5  is a campaign that began in 2014 to combat chronic absenteeism in our district. A student who is absent 10% or more of the school year is said to be chronically absent; at Grand Rapids Public Schools, that means missing 18 or more days in a school year. Just two days a month of excused or unexcused absence quickly adds to 18 days for the year. 
 The Challenge 5 campaign informs and motivates parents and their children to miss fewer than 5 days. Since the challenge began, chronic absenteeism at GRPS has been reduced by nearly 36%.  By raising awareness of the importance of attendance, the challenge motivates students, parents, schools, and the larger community to work together to keep kids in school.
 Student making high five gesture


 Why does it matter? 






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Why does it matter?


Image of Text: Improving Attendance Matters



Young boy in confident pose



Every day of missed school – whether excused or unexcused – is a missed opportunity for learning. 
In school, children practice the skills they need to be successful in the 21st century: academic skills, technical skills, and the social and emotional skills needed to be happy and confident and to contribute as responsible citizens in the world.
What can I do?






















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What can I do?



Mother and Daughter

As a parent, participate in your school’s efforts to improve attendance. Talk to your child’s principal or to a parent leader at school to learn how.

 Learn about parent engagement.



Here are resources to help you understand the impact of attendance on your child’s academic and social development.

Explore resources on attendance 

Read what others have said about us


Take a class alongside other parents.  Parent University is a community collaborative to help parents become full partners in their child’s education, offering modules, activities, workshops, classes, conferences, mentoring and coaching to equip parents for success.

Visit the Parent University Web site.


Smiling Dad standing with two sons Lead!

Become active in the effort to improve 
attendance at your child's school.
Talk to your child's principal about becoming a Parent Action Leader (PAL).

Learn about Parent Engagement 






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News Articles

Our efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism and partner with our parents at GRPS have been featured in local and national publications and news media.



Photo of Challenge 5 yard sign on playground fence












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