Chronic Absenteeism – Real Kids Need Real Help!

Chronic Absenteeism

We are about 9 weeks (give or take) into the school year so far. My babies are JUNIORS in high school. I am not even sure how that is possible, honestly. They are doing adult-y things like driving, and dates, and jobs. But they are still my babies. And while I am big on making them do things for themselves, as a parent, it is still my responsibility to make sure they get to school and do a good job.

Chronic Absenteeism

In the last 9 weeks, my son has missed nearly 9 days of school. That is really bad. Unfortunately, it was unavoidable. Four of those days came from him having a stomach virus that many other kids also came home with after church camp. The others came from him having severe migraines. Thankfully, I have the resources at my disposal and thought to email his teachers daily and not only let them know what was going on with him, but also ask for anything he could do from home to keep from getting behind on his work. We took measures beyond that by seeking medical attention too, so that hopefully it doesn’t not happen again.

It is so unfortunate to think about the millions of kids that are missing school each year leading to chronic absenteeism. We are very lucky and very blessed to have the wherewithal and tools at our disposal to ensure he did not fall behind from missing so many days at once. But MILLIONS of kids in the U.S. are just not that lucky. There are many reasons why students miss school when they don’t have to. Some are struggling in the classroom, while others may be having trouble with bullies, or dealing with challenges at home.  

Chronic Absenteeism

Children who are chronically absent in preschool, kindergarten, and first grade are less likely to read on grade level by the third grade. Students who cannot read at grade level by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school.

To combat chronic absenteeism, the U.S. Department of Education, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Ad Council have partnered to create the public service campaign Absences Add Up. Absences Add Up is part of the My Brother’s Keeper Every Student, Every Day initiative, a broad effort to combat chronic absenteeism led by the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice.

Chronic Absenteeism

Key Takeaways for Parents 

  • Every absence matters.
  • Absences matter as early as elementary school.
  • Absences matter whether they are excused or unexcused.
  • Students who miss just two days of school each month, or 18 days in a year, are more likely to fall behind in reading, writing and math and less likely to graduate from high school.

The Absences Add Up campaign directs parents and community members to, where they can find information about the importance of school attendance and resources to learn how to help children who are struggling in school, being bullied, managing chronic illness, or addressing mental health challenges. The site also provides parents with resources to assist with caregiving, housing and food challenges. For teachers, community leaders, after school programs, and mentoring partners, there is information about how to encourage school attendance and resources to help address issues like poor grades, bullying, and family challenges that cause children to miss school when they don’t have to.

Chronic Absenteeism

Support the campaign on social media.

  • 12 family emergency days + 6 vacation days = risk of not making it to graduation day. Visit today. #AbsencesAddUp
  • 2 absences per month = less likely to read at grade level by the end of 3rd grade. #AbsencesAddUp
  • The best way to ensure success for our kids? Get them to school every day. Visit for tips #AbsencesAddUp
  • Did you know that missing 2 days of school each month makes it less likely a child will graduate from high school? #AbsencesAddUp
  • Every day in class = 1 day closer to graduation. Learn more about ensuring our kids’ success at #AbsencesAddUp
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About Renee

Founder of ThatsJustLife.Com, Contributing Author of The Mom Quilt and The Mom Village, Blogger, Tech Guru, PR, Brand Management, Business Development. Content and Social Media Manager at Element Associates. Over the last year, she has put a large focus on community building, digital outreach campaigns and social media management. Renee is also an entrepreneur in network marketing and graphic & web design. Renee lives in Arkansas with her husband and two very busy and energetic teenagers. She loves meeting new people and taking on new challenges!

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