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School Avoidance Demands a Multifaceted Response

The escalating issue of school avoidance demands a multifaceted response that transcends traditional disciplinary approaches. As absenteeism rises, it's clear that simplistic solutions won't suffice; instead, a holistic strategy is essential. This begins with recognizing school avoidance as a symptom of deeper emotional distress, necessitating collaborative efforts among parents, educators, and mental health professionals to tailor interventions – typically through the IEP or Section 504 process.

Edutopia suggests that central to this approach is the "Practice the And" methodology, inspired by therapeutic strategies like those advocated by Lynn Lyons. By reframing discomfort as a natural part of growth, this strategy empowers students to confront their anxieties rather than succumbing to avoidance. Through linguistic shifts and consistent support from educators, students learn to acknowledge their emotions while affirming their capacity to engage with challenging situations. This mindset, aligned with principles of a growth mindset, fosters resilience and emotional intelligence, laying the groundwork for a generation that embraces challenges with courage and adaptability.

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Absenteeism and school avoidance are issues that have increased remarkably in recent years, which in turn profoundly impact academics. School avoidance is frustrating for parents, caregivers, and educators and is often a cycle that seems to quickly become habitual for some students. Avoiding school leads to missing work and detachment from peers, which leads to anxiety about returning to school, potentially leading to more absenteeism and school avoidance. An increase in parents’ working remotely from home, rising anxiety and mental health concerns, and changing attendance policies post-Covid all contribute to this concern.