A pattern of absences as early as kindergarten—even excused ones—can throw students off track academically and form patterns that challenge later success, two organizations say in a research brief.
“Essentially, these early-attendance gaps turn into achievement gaps that create graduation gaps,” says the report, released last week by Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign. “Poor attendance is among our first and best warning signs that a student has missed the on-ramp to success and is headed off-track for graduation.”
Nationwide, the report estimates that 5 million to 7.5 million students including 10 percent of kindergartners and 1st graders are missing nearly a month of school. It recommends that states and districts collect detailed data on chronic absenteeism in an effort to raise awareness about the problem, identify its causes, and intervene early.
A version of this article appeared in the September 09, 2015 edition of Education Week as Absenteeism