Consistent school attendance in the early grades improves children’s learning and achievement.

Chronic absenteeism is an early predictor of student performance. As early as prekindergarten, children who are chronically absent (miss 10 percent of the academic year for any reason) are:

  • less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade,
  • more likely to be retained, and
  • less likely to develop the social skills needed to persist in school.

Attendance is actionable. Schools and districts across the country have reduced chronic absence by:

  • focusing on recognizing good and improved attendance,
  • engaging students and families,
  • monitoring attendance data and practice,
  • providing personalized early outreach as needed, and
  • developing systemic responses to attendance barriers.

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44%
of NC elementary schools have 10 to 19 percent of students chronically absent
12.5%
of all NC young students are chronically absent
26%
of young students are chronically absent in the NC school district with the highest percentage of absentees
34
states include chronic absence in their school accountability system (NC does not)

What Can We Do About It?

  • Policies and practices that focus on tracking and using actionable, responsive data and engaging families and communities, and
  • Evidence-based and evidence-informed programs that foster a positive and engaging school climate.

Nine steps that states should take according to Attendance Works.

Research-based based policies, practices and programs that schools, districts and states can take to improve attendance.

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