Reducing Chronic Absenteeism: Every Day Counts
Did you know that more than 8 million U.S. students miss nearly a month of school each year. Chronic absenteeism is a growing problem across the country, and MCPS is not immune.
Attending school every day really does matter.
School success goes hand in hand with good attendance. As we get closer to spring break, parents are encouraged to make sure their children attend school every day. We know it’s tempting to extend vacation by a few days, but remember, those days count as absences. Just a few missed days here and there, even if they are excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time and put a child behind in school.
What We Know
A student is chronically absent if they are absent 10 percent (18 days) or more of the school year, regardless of whether the absences are excused or unexcused.
- Children of all ages, races and socioeconomic groups can be chronically absent, but those most at risk are children living in poverty and those who are homeless.
- Half the students who miss two to four days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.
- Children chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read at grade level by third grade.
- Students who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.
- By sixth grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.
If you know a child who struggles with school attendance, contact the Division of Pupil Personnel and Attendance Services at 240-740-5620.