Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Almost one in three public school students, about 15 million kids, were ‘chronically absent’ during the last school year; How schools are tackling chronic absenteeism in the wake of COVID, and other C-Virus related stories

NY POST: Almost one in three public school students, about 15 million kids, were ‘chronically absent’ during the last school year:
Hooky has gone haywire in American public school classrooms.
A staggering 14.7 million public school kids — about 30 percent of all enrollees — were chronically absent during the last school year, leaving districts across the country scrambling to get students back in their buildings.
According to a study released by Attendance Works, 66% of all public school children from California to New York attended a school with high or extreme levels of chronic absenteeism last year — defined as missing at least 10 percent of the academic year.
That amounts to a minimum of 18 absent school days, with many blaming the difficulty of adjusting back to in-person learning following the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When chronic absence reaches high levels, the educational experience of peers, not just those frequently missing school, is also affected,” Attendance Works said.
A jarring 43% of schools had at least 30% of kids who were chronically absent during the 2021-2022 school year — up from just 14% in 2017-2018.
“The long-term consequences of disengaging from school are devastating. And the pandemic has absolutely made things worse and for more students,” Hedy Chang, executive director of Attendance Works, has previously said.
Soaring absenteeism, the study said, is contributing to learning loss at alarming rates among American public school kids already damaged by school closures and interrupted education during the pandemic. --->READ MORE HERE
How schools are tackling chronic absenteeism in the wake of COVID:
While most schools in the U.S. have returned to full-time in-person learning after going remote at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the lingering effects of the lockdowns still remain.
Chris Lantz is part of an attendance team in Louisville, Kentucky, tasked with making up the 30 calls a week searching for chronically absent students.
He spends many days knocking on doors in Jefferson County, but receiving no answer.
Chronic absenteeism, defined as at least 10 absences in one school year, has always been an issue in Lantz's district, but since the pandemic, 37% more students are missing weeks — sometimes months — of school. Last year, nearly 13.6 million students nationwide were chronically absent, nearly twice as many as the year before.
Jefferson County superintendent Marty Pollio told CBS News he thinks the rise in chronic absenteeism is a "major crisis."
"When you think of housing instability, food instability, a student who doesn't have clean clothes may not come to school," Pollio said.
Each Jefferson County school has a youth service center that provides everything from clean clothes and hygiene products to food for struggling students. In Jefferson County, 63% of families rely on schools for meals.
"We don't want to punish them for not going to school," Pollio said. "We want to take away all the barriers that might be keeping them from coming to school." --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Empty Desks: New Absenteeism Report Shows Dramatic Surge in Suburban, Rural & Latino Students Missing Class

NY POST: 'Present!' danger

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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