Regularly missing school impacts student performance at nearly every level of school. In a multi-year study released in 2012, Hoosier elementary, middle and high school children who were chronically absent were less likely to score well on annual standardized tests. Perhaps not surprisingly, only one out of four chronically absent Indiana high school students in the study graduated.
Indiana Partnerships Center, the organization that initiated the 2012 study, has urged communities to respond to the devastating effects of chronic absenteeism by simplifying and expanding the definition of absenteeism, tracking attendance trends, and helping the public to understand the connection between regular attendance and academic achievement.
National organizations are also working on this issue. Attendance Works, a national and state initiative that seeks to advance student success by reducing absenteeism, has created an infographic demonstrating both impact of – and some possible solutions for – this barrier to student success. Their recommendations mirror several suggestions from Indiana Partnerships Center, but also include addressing transportation needs, health care challenges and effective family engagement.
The full infographic is available for download at the Attendance Works website.