Attorney General Kamala D. Harris’s statewide report on elementary school truancy and chronic absence, In School + On Track revealed that elementary school students who miss school are more likely to struggle academically and eventually to drop out of school altogether. Dropouts cost the state more than $46 billion dollars each year, including more than $1 billion in juvenile crime costs alone. The study found, districts may not realize the true scope of their attendance problems because chronic absence is difficult to track.
Lowell Joint School District wants students to thrive both academically and socially. We follow the research and know that attendance matters! Nationally, one in 10 kindergarten and first grade students miss the equivalent of a month of school. Research indicates that this problem is even larger at preschool, with almost half of three-year olds and a third of four-year olds chronically absent.
Missing school at whatever level has consequences for children, Students that are chronically absent in kindergarten and/or first grade leads to lower performance in third grade, which is tied to decreased attendance in ninth grade and an increased risk of dropping out of school. For this reason, staff members of Lowell Joint keep a close track on student absences and chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of any part of a school year. We closely track attendance in order to intervene as soon as possible and provide support to students and families. The Lowell Joint staff wants students to be successful!
Information on Reporting an absence can be found on the Absence Reporting page of our website.
Research on Chronic Absenteeism
Did you know?
- Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
- Missing 10 percent, or about 18 days, of the school year can drastically affect a student’s academic success.
- Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
- Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
- Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.
- Students should miss no more than 9 days of school each year to stay engaged, successful and on track to graduation.
- Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
- By 6th grade, absenteeism is one of three signs that a student may drop out of high school.
- By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.
- Students can be chronically absent even if they only miss a day or two every few weeks.
- Attendance is an important life skill that will help your child graduate from college and keep a job.
Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.