Why are So Many Students Missing So Much School?

There are many reasons students are absent and they fit into four broad categories: Barriers, Negative School Experiences, Lack of Engagement and Misconceptions.

  • Barriers are factors that impede a student from getting to school. While some barriers affect families in low-income communities more, others such as transportation cut across all income levels.

  • Negative School Experiences include a range of challenges, such as bullying or unfair disciplinary practices, that cause a student or a student's family  to avoid school.

  • Lack of Engagement is the result of factors such as the  absence of a relationship with at least one caring adult,  or culturally relevant and engaging instruction, which results in a student feeling little or no  connection to school.

  • Misconceptions are common ideas about attendance that families or students believe to be true but are not. For example, too often missing class is only seen as a problem  if absences are unexcused.

Root Causes graphic - Aug 2023