Chronic Absenteeism and Its Impact on Achievement

June 1, 2018

An overwhelming body of research demonstrates the negative short- and long-term consequences of chronic absenteeism on academic achievement. Students who are chronically absent are missing critical instruction time and are at the greatest risk of falling behind and dropping out of school. Chronic absenteeism disproportionately affects low-income students and students with disabilities, as well as students of color and English language learners. Across the country, millions of students are reported chronically absent each school year.

Chronic absenteeism is most commonly defined as missing 10% or more of the school year for any reason, excused or unexcused. As districts and states begin to examine and track chronic absenteeism, comprehensive policy solutions and interventions should be locally determined and characterized by: universal prevention for all students, early intervention strategies for at-risk students, and targeted intensive support for students with the highest need. Punitive interventions should be avoided.

Keywords: education, attendance, absent, chronic absenteeism and academic achievement, high school chronic absenteeism, Delaware chronic absenteeism, ESSA plans and chronic absenteeism

CRESP, Gabriella Mora, Sue Giancola, Danielle Riser