|Early Intervention Matters:
How Addressing Chronic Absence Can Reduce Dropout Rates
|May 24, 2013|
Chronic absence—missing 10% or more of school for any reason regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused—is a red alert that students are headed for academic trouble and eventually for dropping out of high school. Nationwide, as many as 7.5 million students miss nearly a month of school every year. In some cities, as many as one in four are missing that much school. Contrary to popular perception, poor attendance isn’t just a problem in high school. It can start as early as kindergarten. Every year, one in 10 kindergarten and first grade students miss a month of school with excused or unexcused absences. Starting in kindergarten, research shows these absences can affect academic achievement, especially for low-income students unable to make up for lost time. Chronic absence can set a pattern of poor attendance and academic failure for older students, fueling the dropout rate.
Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around school attendance. The organization promotes tracking chronic absence data for each student beginning in kindergarten, or ideally earlier, as a key indicator for early identification and intervention.
Webinar participants will learn what the most recent national and state research says about the impact of chronic absence on key educational milestones, hear about successful efforts to turn around poor attendance and preliminary insights into what may be causing higher rates of absenteeism among students with disabilities.