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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Factors Impacting School Attendance

What are the predictors of poor school attendance? Is there a relationship between attendance and chemical dependency? between attendance and involvement in extracurricular activities? between attendance and academic achievement?

Summary of Findings:

  • Poor attendance patterns, including unexcused absences and truancies, often begin when children are young. By eighth grade patterns established earlier may increase with each successive year (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2004; McCray, E. D., 2006; Department for children, schools and families).
  • Truancies tend to be a predictor for dropping out of school, engaging in substance abuse,
    earning poor grades, and being involved in illegal activities (Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2004; Henry, K. L., 2007; McCray, E. D., 2006).
  • Research also shows “that students who attend school regularly are more successful than those that don’t” (Johnston, 2005).
  • Research also found that participation in extracurricular activities has a positive relationship with absenteeism, academic achievement, social and academic self-concept, educational aspirations, completion of homework, and subsequent college attendance (Marsh, 1988; Eccles,, 2003; Ziff, 2003).
Attendance Facts
• Once a student misses 30 hours of instruction, it has a direct impact on the student’s grades.
• A study in Tacoma, Washington found that 1/3rd of the burglaries and 1/5th of the aggravated
assaults between 8am – 1pm were committed by juveniles.
• Males are more likely than females to drop out of school.
• Hispanics have a higher drop out rate than whites or African-Americans.
• Asian/Pacific Islanders were least likely to drop out of school.
• A high truancy rate may require additional police resources during school hours.
• When absent students return to class, they are often a discipline problem.
• Absent students often take additional teacher time and school resources.
(Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, 2004; Henry, 2007; McCray, E. D., 2006; Department for children, schools and families).

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