Attendance Goal:

Schools and parents work to reduce chronic absence in Head Start through 3rd


why attendance matters

Why Attendance Matters

Missing school during the early grades can have a negative impact on future academic achievement. Although no standard definition exists, chronic absence is commonly defined as missing 10 percent or more of school in an academic year and includes both excused and unexcused absences. Almost 90% of the elementary students with the most severe attendance problems—those who miss 36 days or more of school per year—are estimated to be low-income. Chronic absence is associated with declining academic performance, starting as early as kindergarten













Key Attendance Strategies


Begin With Data

Collect data on chronically absent children to determine what factors limit school attendance.


Align Efforts

Align efforts so that chronically absent children are identified and services for families are coordinated among agencies and schools (i.e. Head Start, Sierra Vista, Center for Human Services, Family Resource Centers, Housing Authority).


Raise Community Awareness

Provide outreach to parents on the importance of attendance in early years when students are learning to how to read.

attendance indicators of progress

Attendance Indicators
of Progress

  • Reduce % of children chronically absent from school

  • Identify and reduce % of children ‘at risk’ for chronic absence
















Attendance Challenges in Stanislaus County


Chronic Absence Impacts School Funding

In California school districts lose $1.4 billion each year due to truancy because funding is based on school attendance rates. Stanislaus County’s elementary school truancy rate is 21%, which equates to $19,657,862 in lost ADA funding


Lack of Data

Traditional school attendance data focuses on average daily attendance which hides chronically absent students. Schools use different software programs and coding to track attendance. Specific reasons for absence are not retrievable from systems and coding these reasons also varies by school district, which makes any intervention or education efforts daunting.



























To learn more and participate in efforts around attendance, please contact: Susan Rich, Stanislaus County Office of Education,