10 Facts About School Attendance
Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.
Over 7 million (1 in 7) U.S. students miss nearly a month of school each year.
By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school, or about 18 days in most school districts, negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s just two days a month and that’s known as chronic absence.
The academic impact of missing that much school is the same whether the absences are excused or unexcused. Suspensions also add to lost time in the classroom.
Students who live in communities with high levels of poverty are four times more likely to be chronically absent than others often for reasons beyond their control, such as unstable housing, unreliable transportation and a lack of access to health care.
When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.
Attendance improves when schools engage students and parents in positive ways and when schools provide mentors for chronically absent students.
Most school districts and states don’t look at all the right data to improve school attendance. They track how many students show up every day and how many are skipping school without an excuse, but not how many are missing so many days in excused and unexcused absence that they are headed off track academically.