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How US schools are combating chronic absenteeism

The Christian Science Monitor – Stacy Teicher Khadaroo

“It’s not every day that a school district tries to draw attention to some of its most dismal statistics. But in Grand Rapids, Mich., the percentage of students who are missing too many days is on bold display in every school. Through a community-wide challenge that has begun to build bridges of trust, Grand Rapids is now able to show those numbers going down. Tracking missed days – whether excused or not – and stepping in quickly if they start to add up, is a priority in a growing number of school districts. “Chronic absence is … a driver in poor student outcomes in schools. All the best instruction in classrooms doesn’t make a difference if kids aren’t there to benefit from it,” says Hedy N. Chang, executive director of Attendance Works, a national campaign by the nonprofit Child and Family Policy Center.”(more)

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