Miss school, miss out

Strong attendance is critical for children to succeed!

Children who aren’t in school on time, every day fall behind. National and local data show that a student’s attendance, starting in Preschool and through the elementary grades, directly correlates with the student’s academic success. Specifically, students who chronically miss school in kindergarten score lower on 3rd-grade reading and math assessments than students who attend school regularly.

What is chronic absenteeism?

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% of the school year – 18 days or more in a 180-day school year. Even if absences are excused, even if they aren’t consecutive, missing school can lower a child’s academic achievement. Being out just two days every month throughout the year can add up to 18 days – leading a child to fall behind. It’s easy to underestimate how much school a child is missing if the days are intermittent.

Findings from local data:

1 in 5

1 in 5 Kindergartners miss too much school.

18 or more days

Students who miss 18 or more days in the K-3 years score 7-10 points lower on 3rd-grade reading and math tests than those who attend regularly.

Starting behind

Students who come to kindergarten behind are more likely to be chronically absent.

How can schools promote attendance?

Attendance Works, a national organization dedicated to reducing chronic absenteeism, suggests these 4 strategies:

Know your data – Form a team to review and analyze student-level data on a monthly basis. Immediately reach out to families whose children are missing too many days.

Use positive attendance messages – Clearly and continuously stress the importance of regular and on-time attendance. Consider participating in National Attendance Awareness Month in September.

Get others to join the cause – Communicate data to teachers, families, and afterschool providers, and educate them about how to encourage good attendance.

Share responsibility and accountability – Recognize that everyone can help create a culture of good attendance. Look to afterschool providers, libraries, city offices, businesses, and community volunteers to promote the importance of attendance, provide incentives, and monitor progress.


How can families reduce chronic absenteeism?

Children depend on their families to get them to school. Don’t let them miss out on critical learning.

  • Instill the importance of strong school attendance, starting in Preschool.
  • Make sure your child gets to school on time.
  • Remember, even if an absence is excused, your child missed out on learning.
  • Check out this flier for more information.