Conversations about truancy are pretty common among educators. Everyone wants students -- particularly those who are struggling -- in the classroom. Getting them there is a challenge that educators and policymakers have been addressing for years.
Chronic absence is truancy's quieter, less recognizable sibling. In the early grades, a surprising number of children miss days and weeks of school. Often, they aren’t missing on their own account, but due to a myriad of issues such as transportation and family problems, as well as higher rates of mobility among low-income families. And because most schools track rates of absence as an aggregate number, many schools with good overall attendance rates overlook the minority of children who are missing far too much school.