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M. Ann Levett, Ed.D.
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Savannah-Chatham Co.
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Savannah, GA 31401
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Announcements: September is Attendance Awareness Month!

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September is Attendance Awareness Month! 

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A new analysis of federal data by the group Attendance Works shows the problem of chronic absenteeism is both widespread and concentrated.  Nearly nine in 10 districts report chronically absent students, based on data from the 2013-14 school year, a figure that some experts believe is an undercount.  During the 2015-16 school year, Georgia’s students missed over 13 million days of instruction.  The report defines chronic absenteeism as missing at least 15 school days each year, which is roughly 10 percent of the academic calendar.

The recent study shows attendance is essential to student achievement and graduation. Missing 10 percent or more of school for any reason including excused and unexcused absences, or just two of three days a month – is a proven predictor of academic trouble and dropout rates.  Experts say a commitment of resources and attention to reducing chronic absenteeism should begin as early as prekindergarten and kindergarten.

 

The report shows the impact of chronic absence hits low-income students and children of color particularly hard if they don’t have the resources to make up for lost time in the classroom and are more likely to face systemic barriers to getting to school – such as unreliable transportation, lack of access to health care, unstable or unaffordable housing.  Attendance gaps among groups of students often turn into achievement gaps that undermine student success. Chronic absence particularly exacerbates the achievement gap that separates low-income students from their peers, since students from low-income families are both more likely to be chronically absent and more likely to be affected academically by missing school.

 

Absenteeism also undermines efforts to improve struggling schools, since it’s hard to measure improvement in classroom instruction if students are not in class to benefit from them.  It’s not just students who are absent that are affected - all students – even those who show up regularly, are affected by chronic absence because teachers must spend time reviewing for students who missed lessons,

 

The study also shows that chronic absence can be significantly reduced when schools, families and communities work together to monitor and promote good attendance and address hurdles that keep children from getting to school.  During Attendance Awareness Month and always, please help us spread awareness about the importance of being in school!

 

Expires

2/25/2025 
Attachments
Created at 9/12/2016 2:02 PM  by Sheila Blanco 
Last modified at 9/12/2016 2:04 PM  by Sheila Blanco