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Present, Engaged, and Accounted For

09/03/08     National Center for Children in Poverty

The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades

by: Hedy Chang & Mariajose Romero

This report documents the consequences, prevalence, potential causes and possible solutions to children missing extended periods of school in grades K-3rd. Although students must be present and engage to learn, thousands of this country’s youngest students are academically at-risk because of extended absences when they first embark upon their school careers.

Nationally, an estimated one in ten kindergarten and first grade students are chronically absent (i.e. miss nearly a month or more of school over the course of a year). Absenteeism in the early grades can reach even higher levels in particular schools and districts. The good news is that chronic early absence can be significantly reduced when schools, communities and families join together to monitor and promote attendance, as well as to identify and address the factors that prevent young students from attending school every day.

Community schools are able to provide the resource for students and families and address the issues that prevent our youngest children from attending school.  Download the full publication now!

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