A student is considered “chronically absent” if he or she is absent 10 percent or more of the instructional days they are enrolled to attend. Missing school can have a snowball effect. Students withfrequent absences are less likely to be able to read by the end of the 3rd grade, are more likely to drop out in high school, and show less persistence in college. Our rural communities in the North State see higher absenteeism rates than the more urban ares in our region. In addition, there are wide disparities among racial and ethnic groups. For American Indian students the difference is striking. Each of our county networks Reach Higher Shasta , Expect More Tehama , Advancing Modoc Youth , Trinity Together Cradle to Career Partnership , and Cradle to Careers for Siskiyou have all made efforts to increase school attendance.
Adding to our region’s complex attendance factors, the North State has experienced many environmental factors in recent school years including devastating wildfires, snowstorms, and our current COVID-19 public health emergency. Our school systems over our large geographic region took early appropriate preventative actions with guidance from local and state public health authorities to close schools. Our county collective impact networks can begin planning now on expanding their school attendance initiatives for when our students and teachers return to the classroom.
Chronic absence data offers a unique tool for spotlighting where we can focus our efforts.