Getting kids dressed, fed, out the door, and in their seat when the bell rings can be nothing short of a miracle for many parents. Some days are better than others, but some days are nearly impossible.
The importance of consistent attendance is clear. Students who are in school more than 90% of the year (162 out of 180 days) are more likely to:
- Read at grade level by 3rd grade
- Graduate high school on time
But knowing these facts doesn’t change the reality for many communities and families with limited access to transportation, chronic health issues, or students who experience bullying.
In Washington, chronic absenteeism is a statewide problem. Attendance Works released a national report in 2017 that ranked our state as second-worst in the nation, with 17% of students missing at least 18 days of instruction.
You can read more about absenteeism rates for your school district using OSPI’s comprehensive data portal on their website.
The reasons for chronic absences are related to both individual family struggles (health problems or misconceptions about attendance) and systemic barriers (lack of transportation or negative school climate).
If you’re a parent who’s looking for support about how to connect with your school district and find solutions for your child, Stand for Children’s organizing team is here to help.
If you’re an educator or administrator who’s looking for ways to identify absentee trends and develop innovative solutions in your school, our policy team can connect you with resources.
September is Attendance Awareness Month, and we’re committed to finding ways at all levels to ensure that every student receives a high-quality, relevant education, especially those whose boundless potential is overlooked and under-tapped because of their skin color, zip code, first language or disability.
If you believe in finding ways to support every student’s success, become a monthly donor of Stand for Children’s work with parents and school districts.