The month of September is a national attendance awareness month that brings attention on the sheer impact of attendance on the academic growth of PK-12 students. Here is some background into this issue:

September Attendance Awareness Month is a nationwide recognition of the connection between regular school attendance and academic achievement. This month highlights the importance of mobilizing schools, families and community partners to promote regular attendance by developing tiered strategies and personalized interventions to reduce chronic absence. A student who misses as few as two days of school a month is considered chronically absent.

Here are some more data points about school absence that might surprise you:

  • “Chronic absence” is defined by Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) survey, which refers to chronic absence as missing 15 or more days each school year.
  • In the 2015–16 school year, more than 8 million students in the U.S. were chronically absent.
  • Early data shows that chronic absence is likely to have dramatically increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially doubling in size from one out of six to one out of three students.
  • One in ten kindergarten and 1st grade students meet the criteria for chronic absence.
  • Many school districts also experienced significant declines in enrollment, occurring across all grade levels, but drops were greatest among the youngest learners, with some families delaying participation in kindergarten or preschool given the challenges of the pandemic.
  • Absenteeism amongst young students is correlated with lower rates of reading proficiency by 3rd grade—one California study found that only 17 percent of students chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade were reading at grade level after 3rd grade.
  • Chronic absence is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school—a study out of the University of Utah found that just one year of chronic absence between 8th and 12th grade increased the likelihood of dropout by 7.4 times.
  • Close to half (45 percent) of high schools have high or extreme levels of chronic absence..

The Clinton Community School District believes that high attendance rates correlate with student academic and social emotional growth. Any CCSD student will be successful in their learning if they do two things: attend and try to the best of their ability everyday. Both of these actions are in the control of the student and with younger students, parents.

It takes a village to raise a child. Please support our schools’ efforts to promote student attendance.

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