Chronic Absence: The Hidden Problem
Most people already know that school attendance and student performance are linked. Kids can’t learn if they are not in class, which is why school funding is tied to attendance rates.
Yet, here is what most people don’t know—schools are only required to track Average Daily Attendance (ADA) and averages can often be misleading.
In a school of 200 students with 95 percent average daily attendance, 30 percent (or 60) of the students could be missing nearly a month of school (i.e. chronically absent) over the course of the school year. ADA does not always tell the real attendance story and to truly understand the issue, we need to look deeper. Let's begin by collecting the right data.
Stanislaus READS! is working with 5 pilot schools to track and monitor levels of absence by individual students. In addition to uncovering chronically absent students, we hope to learn more about why children miss school and what factors may limit their attendance. Stay tuned in the coming months to learn more about our findings.