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Regular and consistent attendance in school is critical to a child’s learning and development and may ultimately determine that child’s overall success, both in school and in life. Student well-being depends upon students being able to show up when school is in session.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days due to absence for any reason, such as excused, unexcused absences and suspensions.

What happens when a child is chronically absent from school? Research shows that, as early as pre-Kindergarten, chronic absence is a predictor that a student will continue to have poor attendance and poor academic performance in later grades. By the 6th grade, chronic absence is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

Students may miss school for a variety of understandable reasons, from health issues to transportation challenges to troubles at home or in their family. It’s important that teachers and school leaders, parents and families, and even health care providers promote the value of good attendance and do their part to address absences before students miss so much school that they fall behind.

School Attendance

Attendance Works

Join in efforts to promote policies and practices that support better school attendance with helpful resources from this leading national organization.

Visit Attendance Works website

Understand Chronic Absenteeism

The first step in addressing chronic absenteeism is understanding the issues. This recent report from the Brookings Institution offers in-depth insight and recommendations.

Read the Brookings Institution Report

Every Student Every Day

Learn what the U.S. Department of Education is doing to address chronic absenteeism.

See the U.S. Dept. of Education’s Chronic Absenteeism site

Every Student Succeeds Act

This bipartisan measure reauthorized the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.

Learn more about ESSA

Read about Chronic Absenteeism Under ESSA

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