Absenteeism Surging Since Schools Reopened – What School Management Should Do to Reduce the Truancy?

With the COVID-19 pandemic coming to an end, schools are returning to in-person teaching. Absenteeism is becoming a primary cause of concern for many school managements.

The Surging Problem

Chronic Absenteeism is missing at least 10% of school days for any reason. It includes excused and unexcused absences over a school year.  Chronic Absenteeism affects students in all grades. But it is particularly prevalent in high school. “High schools are much more challenged,” according to the Attendance Works chronic absence study.

Alarming Statistics

According to the most recent data,

  • 50% of all high schools in the United States have chronic absence rates that are either extreme or high.
  • At least 30% of students in a third of high schools (31%) are missing a month or more of school.”

Being absent from school regularly makes it difficult for students to keep up with the pace they are supposed to learn and progress. And this causes them to lag.

Children chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade (for example, a child who has frequent asthma attacks) are much less likely to be reading at grade level by third grade. And students who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

Adverse Effects of Absenteeism

Missing out schools has long-term negative consequences in children that extend beyond their school years:

  • Miss out on opportunities to make friends at school,
  • Get involved in their community,
  • Pursue potential career goals.

Chronic Absenteeism is not only a leading factor of low academic performance. It also predicts which pupils will drop out of school. Absenteeism becomes a significant risk factor for dropping out of high school before graduating in the sixth grade.

Suicidal ideation and self-harm may have a connection to chronic Absenteeism.

Why Aren’t Students Attending School?

Frequently, students don’t go to school due to some medical conditions.

Research shows that kids of all races, ethnicities, genders, and socioeconomic backgrounds suffer from chronic Absenteeism. Specific demographics are more likely to be chronically absent than others.

According to the Department of Education, chronic Absenteeism disproportionately affects kids and schools in high-poverty regions.

Chronic Absenteeism is also strongly linked to important social determinants of health. Other issues that impact a student’s attendance include the unsafe school environment, bullying, housing instability, substance misuse, to name a few.

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Strategies to Lower Chronic Absenteeism

Today, many school administrations are tackling the problem of chronic Absenteeism using many strategies. Here are a few ways the principals, parents, teachers, and other stakeholders may assist children in avoiding or reducing absences while also making school a fun place to be.

Encourage a culture of attendance to ensure that students can be enthusiastic at a school. Students are more engaged in school when physically and emotionally happy and safe.

To assist teachers in keeping children on task and acting constructively:

– Establish district-wide behavior requirements.

– Implement PBIS, social and emotional learning, and other culture-focused programs.

– Create goal-oriented incentives to encourage students to attend class and behave well.

All this will aid students in developing positive social and emotional character traits and create an environment in which they may feel connected to the people with whom they learn.

Communicate your expectations to improve attendance.

– Make sure children and their families know the school’s attendance expectations.

– Explain why it’s essential to be on time and attend school regularly.

– Set a measurable attendance target for school improvement and periodically track progress toward that goal.

– Monitor problems early

It is beneficial to construct and configure “triggers” to alert the attendance team and school officials to absences. It helps to prevent tiny problems from becoming huge problems.

Utilizing programs or systems to track and manage student absences will help parents and schools develop an approach to address the problem.

The solution is right here

TrueCare™ offers an Attendance and At-Risk Program to help schools combat truancy. Our program sends a text message to parents when their child is absent.

The app collects the data, and school officials can see whether students are at risk of being chronically absent in real-time. They can also discover if the absence has the reason, suspension-related or unexcused.

The Attendance and At-Risk program clarifies which students are the most vulnerable and may require more assistance. School districts can save thousands of dollars in administrative expenditures. And also transfer their staff’s focus to more profitable tasks by automating attendance taking in this way.

Principals and school administrators can access daily, weekly, or monthly attendance trends through a simple dashboard. They can check top-level information at a glance or review detailed data at once.

School administrators can use these strategies to lower Absenteeism in their school district.

Reduce Absenteeism and Keep Your Students Safe


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