What is chronic absenteeism?
Chronically absent students are defined as those who miss at least 15 days of school in a year. Absenteeism poses a serious risk of students falling behind in school.
Who is absent?
According to the most recent data available, OVER 6 MILLION students missed 15 or more days of school in 2013-14. That figure translates to 13% of students overall, or 1 in 8 students nationwide.
Although chronic absenteeism occurs at every grade level, the rates are highest in high school. In fact, according to the 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection, nearly 1 in 5 students in high school are chronically absent. This number reflects high school students of every race and ethnicity.
The reasons for chronic absenteeism
A wide variety of challenges contribute to chronic absenteeism, including:
- poor student health
- limited transportation
- lack of safety
- family health
- family financial concerns
- poor school climate
- drug and/or alcohol use
- differing community attitudes towards education
Effects of chronic absenteeism
For the youngest students, chronic absenteeism may prevent children from reaching early learning milestones. For example, chronically absent preschool, kindergarten, and first grade students are less likely to read at grade level by the third grade — a strong predictor of later academic success. In fact, studies show that students who cannot read at grade level by the end of third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.
Older students who are chronically absent are more likely to fall behind in class, have difficulty catching back up, and either fail, repeat a grade, or drop out altogether. One study suggests that irregular attendance can actually be a more accurate predictor of dropout rates than test scores.
In addition, the effects of chronic absenteeism follow students into adulthood. According to the Department of Education, chronic absenteeism has been tied to adult poverty, poor health, and criminal records.
Combating chronic absenteeism
Vigilance by teachers and administrators is the key. For classroom teachers, an awareness when students start missing significant amounts of school is the first step. Then, it’s important to begin working together with parents and administration to solve the problem early.
For administrators, creating a more positive school environment and adding attendance as a benchmark in a school improvement plan can address the root causes of the absenteeism.
Getting students back on track; Back to Basics 1-on-1 tutoring in Delaware
When a student has missed a significant number of school days, getting them back on track quickly is essential. And, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics can help.
Since 1985, Back to Basics Learning Dynamics has been the tri-state area’s undisputed leader in 1-on-1 instruction for students of all ages. Back to Basics’ 1-on-1 tutoring approach provides maximum benefits by increasing knowledge of subject matter and building self-esteem.
Tutors are placed with students in a standing schedule. The student has the same tutor each session, thus building a rapport and knowledge of teaching and learning styles.
Tutoring is available 7 days a week in over 60 subjects and is provided either in the student’s home, school, office, summer camp, afterschool care, or at our Education Centers in either Wilmington or Newark, Delaware.
We educate students with a broad range of abilities – whether gifted, learning disabled, visually impaired, hearing-impaired, ADHD, Asperger’s, or those simply in need of some academic support. For more information, please contact Back to Basics at 392-594-0754.