Chronic Absenteeism

As our Attendance Awareness campaign continues, we are doing our best to provide information that will help families understand the importance of regular attendance and motivate them to modify habits or re-evaluate plans that might keep their students from being at school.

Did you know that missing as few as 2 days of school per month could categorize a student as chronically absent? (Based on a 180 day school year.) Chronic absenteeism is defined in Ed Code as a pupil who is absent 10% or more of the school days in the school year. It is another way to look at absences.

In our last message about attendance, we referred to our high daily attendance rates in the SRVUSD. While high daily attendance rates are good for both the District and the students, they are but one means of measuring student absenteeism. High rates of chronic absenteeism, regardless of the reason for the absence (excused or unexcused) correlate to decreased academic success. In the elementary grades, chronic absenteeism in the kindergarten year is a negative indicator of reading fluency at the end of third grade. In the upper grades, chronic absenteeism is tied to lower proficiency on standardized testing and higher high school dropout rates.

As previously pointed out, high attendance rates are a function of ADA. Chronic absenteeism rates are a function of the number of absences an individual student has accumulated in any given school year divided by the number of days that the student was enrolled in the district and teaching was taking place. The rate of chronic absenteeism must be considered together with the daily rate of attendance when considering the impact on teaching and learning.

SRVUSD’s Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) has a goal to reduce the rate of chronic absenteeism. We want to work with families to identify the reasons for chronic absenteeism and then use that information to work on ways to minimize the number of days that any student is absent from school.

We want to emphasize that sick students need to stay at home. Other than for illness, it is our goal that every student will be at school every day. Thank you for considering how your individual decisions about student attendance impact not only your student, but the district, as whole. Questions, comments and ideas can be directed to Communications@srvusd.net

Posted by: Denise Jennison, District Admin, San Ramon Valley Unified School District Published:9/25/18

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