Absences Adds Up


September is Attendance Awareness Month.  For this we’d like to make a post discussing the importance of attending school.

From the GA DOE:

Families all across Georgia wake up each morning and make a decision: whether or not their children will make it to school that day.

School attendance is essential to academic success, but too often students, parents, and schools don’t realize how quickly absences— excused or unexcused— can add up to academic trouble. Every school day counts, and everyone can make a difference.

Chronic absence, which is defined in Georgia as missing 15 days in one school year, is a problem we can fix when schools and communities work with students and families, starting in the early grades, to identify barriers to getting to school, help students overcome these barriers, and cultivate a culture of attendance that encourages showing up every day even when it isn’t easy.


From AttendanceWorks.org:

10 Facts About School Attendance

  1. 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. Read more
  2. An estimated 5 million to 7.5 million U.S. students miss nearly a month of school each year. Read more
  3. Absenteeism and its ill effects start early. One in 10 kindergarten and first grade students are chronically absent. Read more. Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back. Read more
  4. By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. Read more
  5. 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. Read more
  6. 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.
  7.  Low-income students 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. Read more
  8. When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating. Read more
  9. Attendance improves when schools engage students and parents in positive ways and when schools provide mentors for chronically absent students. Read more
  10. 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. Read more