Oregon chronic absenteeism rate climbs to 20.5 percent, according to 2017-18 state report
Friday, October 26, 2018
The chronic absenteeism rate for all Oregon students increased nearly a percentage point in 2017-18 to 20.5 percent, according to state data.
The Oregon Department of Education posted the Regular Attenders Report Friday afternoon. ODE defines chronically absent as missing 10 percent or more of school days between the school year’s start and the first school day in May.
The Regular Attenders Report breaks out attendance numbers by grade and demographic for schools, districts and the state. This year’s report added numbers for homeless students and migrants. Research shows regular attendance is an indicator for student success and graduation. Chronic absenteeism is linked to lower academic performance and higher dropout rates.
Oregon had the fourth-worst chronic absenteeism rate in 2016-17, according to a report by Attendance Works, and ODE has been working to help schools improve attendance.
The department launched Every Day Matters on Tuesday, a website that provides information and resources to address chronic absenteeism. Every Day Matters builds on ODE’s statewide chronic absenteeism plan, which includes support for local action and coaching, school environment improvements, and data use.
The report showed increased chronic absenteeism with every demographic group except American Indian/Alaska Native, which fell one percentage point to 29.6 percent. Native Americans tend to have among the highest absenteeism rates. Oregon has a significant Native American population, and it launched the Tribal Attendance Pilot Project in 2016 to help Native students.
TAPP is a district and tribal collaboration to remove attendance barriers and help students and tribal families connect with schools. Family advocates are central to TAPP’s approach, and they help develop research-backed, school-specific attendance initiatives, such as rewards, positive outreach and improved data tracking.