Why Does Attendance Matter?
Every school day counts in a child's academic life...
A missed school day is a lost opportunity for students to learn. In this era of increased accountability for states, districts, and schools, the connection between student attendance and learning is being studied more than ever before. As a result, education agencies are asked with increasing frequency to report attendance data in a standard manner to allow comparisons across organizations and jurisdictions.
The primary rationale for high-quality attendance data is the relationship between student attendance and student achievement. Teacher effectiveness is the strongest school-related determinant of student success, but chronic student absence reduces even the best teacher's ability to provide learning opportunities.
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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.
Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or be held back.
By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
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.
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.
Students who live in communities with high levels of poverty 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.
When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.