Chronic absenteeism is the focus of a new U.S. Department of Education initiative

The U.S. Department of Education—in partnership with the departments of Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice – have launched a new federal initiative, “Every Student, Every Day: A National Initiative to Address and Eliminate Chronic Absenteeism,” calling on the nation to raise awareness and reduce chronic absenteeism by at least 10 percent each year. The campaign further outlines steps to help states reach that goal.

classroomChronic absenteeism is defined as missing at least 10 percent of school, or about 18 days, in a year for any reason. As we discussed in an earlier post, chronic absenteeism puts students at risk of both falling behind and dropping out of school. It is critical that schools intervene early to identify and address the issues that contribute to chronic absenteeism.

The initiative has a variety of materials available including a community toolkit with information and resources to address and end chronic absenteeism.

In addition, a free virtual summit is scheduled for Nov. 12 that will outline key steps that states, districts and communities can take to improve student achievement by monitoring and reducing chronic absence.

You can find links to resources and more information on the U.S. Department of Education website.

In order to be college and career ready, children must attend school ready to learn. Addressing chronic absenteeism is a crucial first step to giving young people the best chance at success now and in the future.