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Absenteeism – Absences Add Up

by Heather

Chronic Absenteeism

Depending on where you are – your kids have likely been in school for a month or two already. Have they missed any days during that time? How many? Is that even something you think about regularly? When they did miss – you probably did everything you needed to do to ensure that they stayed caught up, right?

My daughter has missed two days of school this year. The first one was her second day of school, yes, I said SECOND because she had to have surgery. The second was because we went out of town and took her with us. We contacted the teacher, obtained extra work (well, the second time), and thanks to my upbringing, I carried around a great deal of guilt the days that she was out. Our presence matters, especially when it comes to school. Remember, #AbsencesAddUp

Unfortunately, there are kids out there who do not have that luxury and they are falling behind. A student who misses just two days of school each month — 18 days total in the year — is considered to be chronically absent. However, many parents don’t realize that, even when absences are excused or understandable, absences add up and can greatly impact a child’s education. In the United States, more than 6 million children are chronically absent from school each year.

Key Takeaways for Parents

  • Every absence matters.
  • Absences matter as early as elementary school.
  • Absences matter whether they are excused or unexcused.
  • Students who miss just two days of school each month, or 18 days in a year, are more likely to fall behind in reading, writing and math and less likely to graduate from high school.

Tips and Suggestions

  • Keep track of how many days of school your child has missed.
  • Figure out why your child is absent from school.
    • Are they dealing with a chronic illness like asthma?
    • Are they being bullied or struggling at school?
    • Are they staying home to help care for a family member?
  • Visit AbsencesAddUp.org to find help addressing the underlying cause of your child’s absences.
    • Ask teachers and community leaders for advice and specific resources in your area.
    • Don’t be afraid to reach out to other parents in your area to ask for help and share tips.
  • To prevent absences in the future, consider enrolling your child in a mentoring or afterschool program.
  • Understand the impact of each absence on your child’s future.
    • A student is chronically absent even if they miss only two days of school each month (18 days per year), whether the absences are excused or unexcused.
    • Chronic absenteeism can affect students as early as elementary school.
    • Children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are much less likely to read on grade level by third grade.
    • Students who cannot read at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

Chronic Absenteeism

One third of parents surveyed admit that they could do more to ensure that their child attends school every day. There are many reasons why students miss school when they don’t have to. Some are struggling in the classroom, while others may be having trouble with bullies, or dealing with challenges at home.

Children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are less likely to read on grade level by the third grade. Students who cannot read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Your child’s daily, on-time attendance is critical to their success in school. And while some challenges to your child’s school attendance are unavoidable, it’s important to understand the impact of each absence.

Chronic Absenteeism

SPREAD THE MESSAGE!

The best way to ensure success for our kids? Get them to school every day. Visit AbsencesAddUp.org for tips #AbsencesAddUp

Every day in class = 1 day closer to graduation. Learn more about ensuring our kids’ success at AbsencesAddUp.org #AbsencesAddUp

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1 comment

Ronald Gagnon October 7, 2016 - 11:41 pm
I totally agree with you concerning the detrimental effects of absenteeism...thank you for the information access AbsencesAddUp.org
Reply

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