The share of Rochester City School District students at various grade levels missing 10% or more of the school year due to absence. That is equal to missing 18 or more days during the school year.
School attendance is critical to learning. For the last several years, the Rochester school district has made a significant effort to improve school attendance as a strategy to improve academic achievement. This has included school and community leaders visiting the homes of chronically absent students as well as improved tracking and monitoring of attendance and attempts to connect troubled families whose children are missing school with needed community services. In addition, efforts have been concentrated within target schools with the lowest attendance rates.
From 2015 to 2016, the rate of chronically absent students in the earliest grades (kindergarten through 3rd) fell from 30% to 28%, and declined in the target schools, from 37% to 34%. Overall in elementary schools, the share of chronically absent students declined from 34% in 2014 to 27% in 2016. A smaller decline was seen in secondary schools, where 45% of students were chronically absent in 2016, down 1 point from 2014.
Chronic absence is an entirely different way of looking at school attendance from the more traditional measure of average daily attendance. In any school or district, average daily attendance can be seemingly high (90%+) even though a small or moderate share of students are missing a lot of school.