California: More than 10% of kids are 'chronically absent'

Dec 5, 2017, Ed Source: More than 1 in 10 California students are 'chronically absent' California education officials on Tuesday released school-level data that shows that last year more than 1 in 10 students were chronically absent, defined as missing at least 10 percent of school days for any reason.... Chronic absenteeism among California’s students peaked in high school, at 15.4 percent. But the data showed kindergartners close behind, with 14 percent missing at least 10 percent of school days. The statewide average for all students was 10.8 percent. … Focusing on chronic absenteeism “is less judgmental because now you’re looking at absence for any reason,” said David Kopperud, chair of the state Student Attendance Review Board. “You have kids with health problems and mental health problems, you have young children who are missing school for no fault at their own.”When a member of the team called one student’s home not long ago, she learned from his mom that “he was locking himself up in his room, and he wouldn’t come out, and mom didn’t know what to do. We were able to provide some mental health supports for him. If we weren’t checking, who knows what would have happened?”