“Chronic absenteeism occurs at every grade level but is more prevalent in some grades than others. Research suggests that students in the early elementary grades also experience high rates of chronic absenteeism. Understanding when students are most at risk will help schools, [parents], and advocates better target interventions to improve student outcomes.” (United States Dept. of Education)

Chronic absenteeism is a modern, widespread, well-hidden educational epidemic. One in every six students missed 15 or more days (3+ weeks) in the 2015-2016 school year on average in America. Disadvantaged and low economic communities are hit the hardest. Casa Grande is undoubtedly one of such communities with the average household income at just $55,236.

Chronic absenteeism presents several long-term outcomes, including preventing primary school scholars from reaching early learning milestones, posing a better indicator of long-term success than test scores do, and adverse adulthood experiences. Along with these, scholars also have a much lower rate of graduating high school than their seldom-absent peers. After high school, the rate of involvement in the criminal justice system skyrockets as well.

The very students who tend to face significant challenges and need the most educational support are often missing the most school, and this could very well be because they are facing significant challenges outside of the classroom. It’s a vicious cycle bound to be repeated if there is no intervention. Absenteeism is 15% more likely in scholars with English as a first language. There isn’t a lot of research on why this may be, but it could be inferred that because primarily English-speaking scholars and parents speak the common language, they feel they can get away with missing school “a few times.” Of course there is much more to attending school than just English Language Arts periods, which is why we insist, outside of emergencies and illness,¬†that scholars show up for each school day.

Questions or concerns about your scholars attendance record? Reach out to Patty Messer at [email protected].