Skip To Main Content

Did You Know

Across the country, more than 8 million students are missing so many days of school that they are academically at risk.  Chronic absen

In the Selah School District attendance matters.

ces—missing 10% or more of school days due to an absence for any reason, can translate into academic challenges—third-graders unable to master reading, sixth-graders failing subjects, and ninth-graders dropping out of high school.


Absenteeism isn’t simply a matter of truancy or skipping school.  In fact, many absences, especially among the youngest students, are excused.  Often absences are tied to health problems; however, other barriers also make it difficult to go to school every day—missing the bus, no transportation, homelessness, food insecurities, and anxiety, just to name a few examples.  In many cases, chronic absences can go unnoticed.  While chronic absences present academic challenges for individual students not in class, when absenteeism reaches high levels on particular days in a classroom or the school, all students may suffer because it hampers the teachers’ ability to engage the entire classroom of students to meet their learning needs.

The good news is that by having an intentional focus, chronic absenteeism is a solvable problem, and improving student attendance is an essential strategy for ensuring success that can help reduce achievement gaps. What works is taking a comprehensive approach that begins with engaging students and families, as well as preventing absences from adding up before students fall behind academically. Together, schools, families, patrons, public officials, and civic organizations can determine the causes of chronic absences, and implement approaches that address barriers and help get students to school every day so they have an opportunity to learn, flourish and realize their dreams.

As we have reached the half-way point of the 2019-2020 school year, remember that absenteeism matters as missed days add up.  For the sake of Selah students, let’s help them “make the grade” by focusing on attendance.