Regular attendance is vital for student success. When students attend regularly, starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, they have an opportunity to achieve academically and thrive. Research shows that when students are chronically absent, (missing 10% or more of the school year or 18 days over an entire year), they are less likely to read proficiently by third grade, achieve in middle school and graduate from high school.
Monitoring chronic absence (missing 10% or more of the school year or 18 days over an entire year) — and tracking whether absences are excused, unexcused or due to suspension — is key to responding strategically to the academic and social-emotional loss experienced by millions of students. Over two years into the pandemic, chronic absence has nearly tripled. Black, Latino and Native American students, students living in poverty, students with disabilities and English language learners have been especially affected.
The good news is that when we take steps to reduce chronic absence, it benefits our entire society. We all prosper when children and youth, regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender, neighborhood or income have the opportunity to gain skills and abilities that prepare them for success in school, work and life.