States and school districts nationwide have reported higher student absenteeism during the pandemic, with schools shuttered and families struggling with the often devastating consequences of Covid-19. But a detailed examination of pandemic attendance trends in five school districts serving nearly 450,000 students suggests that student absenteeism has been far greater during the pandemic than previously reported. Drawing on data provided by EveryDay Labs, which works with schools across the country to improve attendance, we found rates rising faster for younger students and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. A growing number of students are missing half the school year.
The report also offers a series of recommendations for turning around chronic absenteeism and reengaging students.