Chronic absenteeism is a serious problem. But what is it? Chronic absenteeism is when a student misses 10% or more of the school year. That’s only two days a month – and it adds up. Since the 2018-2019 school year, the rate of chronic absenteeism has nearly doubled in the Riverside Community School District.
That's bad, as chronic absenteeism is proven to increase drop-out rates, hurt student grades and can lead to juvenile delinquency. Research also shows that students who don’t graduate from high school miss out on lifetime earnings – making approximately $10,000 less per year than those who receive a high school diploma. Over the course of a lifetime, that adds up. Students’ futures start today. And they start in class.
Increased education leads to higher earnings over the course of a lifetime. Median lifetime earnings for someone who does not graduate from high school is $1.2 million. For someone who does earn a high school diploma, that number jumps to $1.6 million – that’s a $400,000 difference, and the gap widens as you move up the scale. While pay isn’t everything, it is an important factor in deciding an educational and career path.
Source: Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce
What Can Parents Do?
The best way you can get (and keep) students in school is to take an active interest. Talk to your student about their schoolwork, ask about potential issues at school (bullying, a lack of school supplies, medical issues, etc.) and convey the importance of education in their lives. Ask why they’ve been truant or uninterested in school.
You can also take an active role in establishing expectations for attendance, communicating rules consistently and enforcing consequences immediately if your child skips class.
If you're a parent or guardian who’s struggling with getting your child to school or facing challenges with transportation, after school care or other issues that might impact attendance, know that your school wants to help. Reach out to staff, and together you can help your child succeed.