Solving Chronic Absence:

Information and resources for educators and community coalitions

The Basics About Chronic Absence

What is chronic absence and why is it important?

Key Concepts

  • Chronic absence is a measure of students who have missed 10% or more of the days in which they were enrolled in the school year.
  • The chronic absence rate is the portion of students within a grade, district or subgroup (e.g., elementary, secondary level; race/ethnicity; gender; language proficiency; disability group, migrant status) that misses 10% or more of the days in which they were enrolled.
  • Chronic absence needs to be addressed because our ability to identify and support chronically absent students and their families has the potential to help:
    • reduce the achievement gap,
    • turn around under performing schools, and
    • increase students’ readiness for college and careers.

Research tells us...

Common sense says...

Source: aha! Process

More about the research

Considerable research supports the intuitive link between chronic absence and school outcomes. Those children who miss a large portion of the school year are less likely to meet many of the milestones used to determine school success. Furthermore, research findings indicate that the matter of chronic absence influences students at all educational levels.

Survey findings have shown that parents tend to think absences in lower grades have fewer detrimental consequences for their younger children but could gravely impact the school course of their older children. However, research results point to the fact that the outcomes for chronically absent students are significant at every educational level and the goal of Every Student Present is to help these parents understand good attendance is a habit to build in our children from the very start of their schooling. As a result of research, we have learned: