Absentee data from 5 school districts show alarming trends

By: | May 25, 2021

Whatever you’ve heard about student absenteeism during the pandemic, it’s likely worse than you thought.

Not only are more students missing school, but they’re missing far more days than in past years — some absent as much as half the year. Younger students, who usually have better attendance rates than high schoolers, are racking up absences at unprecedented levels. And disadvantaged children, who have always faced obstacles getting to class, are recording alarmingly high rates of absenteeism. That doesn’t count the hundreds of thousands of students who aren’t even enrolled in school this year.

These trends emerged from our deep dive into attendance data from five school districts enrolling a total of nearly 450,000 students and working with EveryDay Labs attendance interventions. The spiraling rates of absenteeism are intensifying a problem that was already pervasive before the pandemic and could have devastating consequences for student learning.

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