Chronic Absenteeism


Note: In Oregon, chronic absenteeism is defined as students who miss more than 10% of their enrolled days.



Note: In Washington, chronic absenteeism is defined as students who have 5 or more absences in a month. Data for Skamania School District is unavailable.

Why is this important?

Regular attendance at school is important to a child’s academic success. Students with good attendance records in kindergarten and the first grade are four times as likely to read proficiently in the third grade as their chronically absent peers. Students who are chronically absent in junior high school are less likely to graduate from high school.[1] At all levels, students who are chronically absent score lower on standardized tests. The effects of chronic absenteeism are the same for all racial and ethnic groups. Students from low-income families are more likely to be chronically absent and poor attendance contributes to the achievement gap for poor students and students of color. However, the negative effects of chronic absenteeism impact all socio-economic groups. Research has found that the effects of poor attendance, if identified early in the school year, can be mitigated when families are given extra supports.[2]

[1] Attendance Works. 2011. “Attendance in Early Elementary Grades: Association with Student Characteristics, School Readiness, and Third Grade Outcomes.”

[2] Ginsburg, A., P. Jordan, and H. Chang. 2014. “Absences Add Up: How School Attendance Influences Student Success. Attendance Works.