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posted Dec 16, 2014, 6:19 AM by jmarcotte@sau4.org

How Chronic Absences Affect Student Progress

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I received an article from the superintendent of school from Education Week. In the article it speaks about how chronic absenteeism can devastate student learning.

In research done by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium, they found “half of all students who miss two to four days of school in the first month will go on to miss nearly a month of school in excused or unexcused absences.” A month of school is equivalent to missing 110 hours of instructional time and skill practice for students! The research goes on to say, “In the early grades, students who are chronically absent have lower reading and math scores, as well as weaker social-emotional skills.”

Another study done in California for Attendance Works found, “Only 17 percent of the students who were chronically absent in both kindergarten and 1st grade were reading proficiently by 3rd grade, compared with 64 percent of those with good attendance in the early years.” Weak reading skills in the 3rd grade translate into academic trouble ahead: Students who aren’t reading well by that point are four times more likely to drop out of school, according to a 2012 study released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. So what can parents do?

  • Develop a consistent bedtime routine
  • No TV or electronics in your child’s bedroom
  • Have K-2 students in bed by 8:00 p.m. and grades 3-5 students in by 8:30 p.m. (earlier if your child needs it)
  • Pick out clothes the night before
  • Limit or have a no TV or technology morning
  • Provide your child with a visual poster of their routine and jobs in the morning
  • Use the school’s provided transportation
  • If driving, have a consistent leave time from your house
  • Model for your child with your own routine
  • Discuss the importance of being on time and the value of attending school everyday
  • Reach out to the classroom teacher or guidance counselor for ideas and suggestions if your family struggles with this situation
  • Have a great weekend!

    P.S. Thank you for your generous donations today with our PJs & Hat day—we collected (at publishing time) $1,291.36 for our family. What an amazing show of support!