Many of our youngest students miss 10 percent of the school year—about 18 days a year or just two days every month. Chronic absenteeism in kindergarten, and even preK, can predict lower test scores, poor attendance and retention in later grades, especially if the problem persists for more than a year.
Kindergarten and 1st grade classes often have absenteeism rates as high as those in high school. Many of these absences are excused, but they still add up to lost time in the classroom.
Absenteeism affects everyone when teachers must repeat information covered during absences. One in ten kids in kindergarten and 1st grade are chronically absent. In some schools, it’s as high as one in 4.1
If children don’t show up for school regularly, they miss out on fundamental reading and math skills and the chance to build a habit of good attendance that will carry them into college and careers.
Preliminary research data shows that children who were chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade were far less likely to read proficiently at the end of 3rd grade.