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Families & the Community Report Roundup

Student Attendance

By Sarah D. Sparks — June 12, 2018 1 min read

Challenging parent misconceptions about absenteeism can significantly boost student attendance, says a new study in the American Educational Research Journal.

In a randomized field trial, researchers sent brief mailings to nearly 11,000 families of K-5 students in 10 urban, suburban, and rural school districts that had student-attendance rates in the bottom 60 percent nationwide.

The mailings highlighted key ideas about absenteeism that parents often misunderstood; including, for example, that early absences can build absenteeism habits in later grades.

Students whose parents received the mailings missed on average 7.7 percent fewer days and were nearly 15 percent less likely to miss 10 days of school or more, compared with students whose parents had not received the messages.

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A version of this article appeared in the June 13, 2018 edition of Education Week as Student Attendance

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