Chronic absenteeism among kindergarten students

Essential Question:
What are the effects of kindergarteners' Chronic Absenteeism on academics as they progress through school? And what are some of the obstacles to their attendance?

Schools can not teach students who are not there. Understanding the degree and nature of low attendance among the youngest students, as well as what they have in common, gives us insight into possible ways of mitigating both the absenteeism and its deleterious effects.

If you think kindergarten attendance doesn't matter, think again.

The DataHUB research shows that absenteeism among kindergartners has surprisingly lasting effects. The HUB allows us to follow a cohort of kindergartners from the School Year 2004-05 through their subsequent schooling, only in RI public schools, for 7 subsequent years. As you'll see, some of the results are jaw-dropping. The HUB research revealed that, for example:

Compared with children who attend regularly, chronically absent kindergartners:

  • Scored roughly 20 percentage points lower in reading
  • Scored 25 percentage points lower in math.
  • Were twice as likely to be retained in grade.
  • Were more than twice as likely to be suspended by the end of 7th grade.
  • Were likely to continue being chronically absent.

It matters.

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