Why Attendance Matters

  • Chronic absence, missing 10 percent or more school days (or just two days a month) due to any reason - excused, unexcused, and suspensions, can translate into third-graders unable to master reading, a lower achievement for sixth-graders, and ninth-graders dropping out of high school. Children living in poverty are two to three times more likely to be chronically absent and face the most harm because their community lacks the resources to make up for the lost learning in school.  Students from communities of color as well as English Language Learners and those with disabilities are disproportionately affected because of the persistence of educational inequities created by institutional bias, discrimination, and racism.

    The barriers to attendance are varied and may include health problems, lack of accessible transportation or a safe walking route to school, food insecurity, homelessness, lack of engaging or culturally responsive curriculum, and an unwelcoming school climate. Whether it occurs in the early grades or in high school, chronic absence undermines a school system’s effectiveness in achieving its academic goals of graduating students ready for college, career, and life.  We have partnered with Attendance Works to help build our district’s attendance infrastructure.

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