We need our student(s) in school and on time every day!

I recently saw this note: "The best predictor of student growth is Academic Engaged Time - how many minutes per week the student is engaged in quality instruction." 

Our school has been recognized for five consecutive years as one of the top 6 schools in the state ...so I’m confident that we provide quality instruction. But in looking at our daily attendance records ...I wonder just how much higher we could rank if our students attended school every day! About 6-8% of our students miss at least two days of school each month, that's the equivalent to missing a month of school per year!

I recently returned from a conference where I saw more research on the effects of attendance on student achievement. Here are a few notes on the topic:

"Teacher effectiveness is the strongest school-related determinant of student success, but chronic student absence reduces even the best teacher's ability to provide learning opportunities."

"Students who attend school regularly have been shown to achieve at higher levels than students who do not have regular attendance."

"Absenteeism in kindergarten was associated with negative first grade outcomes such as greater absenteeism in subsequent years and lower achievement in reading, math, and general knowledge."

"Students who eventually dropped out of high school missed significantly more days of school in first grade than their peers who graduated from high school."

"In many cases, the students with more absences have skill levels one to two years below their peers. While students from low-income families are more likely to be chronically absent, the ill effects of missing too much school hold true for all socioeconomic groups."

"Poor attendance affects achievement, graduation rates, and social-emotional factors like grit and perseverance, research shows."

NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) and Education Week
Adelman, C. (2006). The Toolbox Revisited: Paths to Degree Completion from High School Through College.
Romero, M., and Lee, Y. (2007). A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades.
Kickman, G.P., Bartholomew, M., and Mathwig, J. (2007). The Differential Development Trajectories of Rural High School Dropouts and Graduates.
Allensworth, E., and Easton, J.Q. (2005). The On-Track Indicator as a Predictor of High School Graduation.

Mr. Mack