There’s really no debate that kids who regularly miss school will also miss out academically. But who knew that chronic absence would make such a drastic difference?
According a new study from Attendance Works, each year, an estimated 5 million to 7.5 million American students miss nearly a month of school. As the Huffington Post points out from the report, these chronically absent students can potentially fall one to two years behind in learning compared to their peers.
Also included in the study were the attendance rates of students from different ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and racial groups state by state, which the nonprofit advocacy group analyzed. Across the board, the organization found that students who were regularly absent were more likely to score lower on the National Assessment for Educational Progress (which is like a national report card for 4th to 8th graders) compared to their peers.
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“While students from low-income families are more likely to be chronically absent, the ill effects of missing too much school hold true for all socio-economic groups,” the report says.
The good news is that these trends can be reversed. According to the report, schools in New York City started successful mentoring programs that help reduce chronic absence rates and also increase graduation rates. Chicago also saw their matriculation rates rise when schools focused on boosting attendance.
September happens to be Attendance Awareness Month. In case you didn’t know, students — from kindergarten to high school — shouldn’t miss more than nine days of school each year in order to stay engaged and on track to graduation.
For smart advice on how parents can help ensure their kids show up to school every day, click here.
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