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| 1 minute read

Fighting the Trend of Kindergarten Absenteeism

Since the pandemic, school districts across the country have been fighting chronic absenteeism. Surprisingly, one of the grades where kids are missing the most is Kindergarten. Research shows that in California, more than 1 in 3 kindergarteners was chronically absent. 

The “why” behind this requires that we put ourselves in the shoes of parents and caregivers. Post-pandemic, families were told if your child seems sick, keep them home. But what this fails to acknowledge is the fact that kids get sick ALL the time. Schools are now faced with having to educate parents on the importance of consistency and just how important kindergarten is. At such a young age, missing one day is the equivalent of missing three. 

To combat chronic absenteeism, one California School District is relying heavily on their school nurses, telling families they don't have to decide if their child is sick or not, bring them to school and a school nurse will take their temperature, ask a few questions, and if they're truly sick, the school nurse will help the family get a quick doctor's appointment at the local health clinic.

To read more about the impact of absenteeism in kindergarteners and how to bring more students back to class, check out NPR's article below:

What we know is chronic absence in kindergarten is associated with not being as likely to read or count proficiently in third grade.