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More than Half of NC Elementary Schools Have 10 Percent or More of Students Chronically Absent

Posted September 5, 2017 in News

A new report, Portraits of Change: Aligning School and Community Resources to Reduce Chronic Absence, released by Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center sheds light on the prevalence of chronic absenteeism across the nation. It finds in North Carolina that:

  • 44 percent of North Carolina elementary schools have rates of chronic absenteeism between 10 percent and 19 percent (meaning between 10 percent and 19 percent of students in the school are chronically absent).
  • 6 percent of North Carolina elementary schools have rates of chronic absenteeism between 20 percent and 29 percent.
  • 1 percent of North Carolina elementary schools have rates of chronic absenteeism of 30 percent or higher.

What is Chronic Absence? Most children miss a few days of school each year without long- term consequences. However, when they are chronically absent, defined as missing 10 percent of school days within one academic year for any reason, their school success is at significant risk.

Why does Chronic Absence Matter? It is more difficult for children to learn to read and to gain other foundational academic skills when they miss many school days. As early as pre-kindergarten, students who are chronically absent are less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade and more likely to be retained. Chronically absent kindergartners are less likely to develop the social skills needed to persist in school. The problems multiply when students are chronically absent several years in a row.

Learn more about chronic absenteeism and rates by North Carolina school district here.

Portraits of Change: Aligning School and Community Resources to Reduce Chronic Absence, also includes inspiring examples of attendance initiatives from around the country that show how chronic absence can be turned around, even when it reaches high levels. It explains how partners such as businesses, nonprofits and local governments can team up with educators to reduce chronic absence. Join a webinar on Sept 12 at 2 p.m. ET. Register here

 

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