Every Student Present

Every Student Present sheds light on the issue of chronic absence by describing what it is, explaining how it impacts students and highlighting approaches that schools, families and communities can use to reduce chronic absence.  

Too many students are missing too many days of school.  This means they are also missing instruction and falling behind in school. Each year, approximately one in ten students miss 10 percent or more school days. In some cases, particularly in kindergarten and first grade, as many as 4 in 10 students will miss about a month of school, jeopardizing their academic success.

The reduction of chronic absence is an essential part of successful school improvement. It is well understood, both intuitively and empirically, that improvements in curricula and classroom teaching will not yield positive results unless students are in school.  Research has taught us that:

  • Chronic absence is related to lower test scores and higher dropout rates for students at all income levels;
  • By sixth grade, chronic absence is one of three early warning signs that a student will drop out of high school; and,
  • By ninth grade, attendance can be a better indicator of dropout than eighth grade test scores.