CFLeads worked on the issue of chronic absence in schools for the following reasons:
- Chronic absence as early as kindergarten can adversely affect 1st-grade academic performance for all children. For poor children, who lack resources to make up for the lost time in the classroom, it predicts lower 5th-grade performance.
- By 6th grade, poor attendance is a proven indicator of high school drop out.
- Nationally, nearly one in 10 kindergarten students is chronically absent — missing 10 percent or almost a month of school — over the course of a year. In some districts, it affects as much as a quarter of all K-3rd grade students.
We believed that chronic absence in the early grades could be significantly reduced when schools, communities, and families joined together to monitor and promote attendance and identify and address the factors that prevent young students from attending school every day.
To explore this, we launched a Chronic Absence Network in 2012 with a team of community foundations in California. Visit the page below to learn more and view the results of this Network.