Between the medical appointments, family holidays or just the bad luck of getting sick, there’s so many factors throughout a school year that lead to kids having to take time out of the classroom.
So when a student manages to achieve 100 per cent attendance, it’s seen to be quite an achievement.
For the Karam family, achieving 100 per cent attendance has become somewhat a tradition, with all five kids not having a single day off since starting school.
The eldest of the five, Elias Karam, recently graduated Year 12 from St Dominic’s College, without a single day off for 13 years.
His sister, Elissa Karam also finishing primary school this year with a 100 per cent attendance rate.
Their mum, Mirna Karam, said that it’s achievement they should all be proud of.
“It’s amazing really, I don’t really believe it,” she said.
“I feel really happy and very proud of them all, they’ve done really well.”
For Elissa, seeing her older brothers strive to get the 100 per cent attendance made her want to do the same, each year setting a goal for herself to achieve.
“Every year she would say to me, this year I’m going to go to school and get a 100 per cent attendance award and I’m like ‘the year has just started, don’t say it yet or you’ll jinx yourself’,” Ms Karam said.
“But it’s the goal she sets for herself at the beginning of the year.”
Putting it down to luck, as well as good time management, Ms Karam said that good attendance meant better learning chances for her kids.
“If kids miss a day, a week or a fortnight, if you count them all up at the end of the year it’s a lot of time off and that means missing a lot of learning,” she said.
“I get appointments for them mainly in the holidays or if I need to before school or after school, and we go on holidays during Christmas or for a few days in the shorter school holidays.”
Elias, who has just started a hospitality course at TAFE, said there were days when he woke up and just didn’t want to go, but their mum always made sure they made it to school.
“They wake up and say, ‘Mum we’ve been to every single day since kindergarten, can we have a day off?’ And I go ‘nothing’s wrong with you, go to school!'” Ms Karam said.
Lauren Suttie is the Weekender’s General & Community News journalist.