Chronic Absence Parent Letter

Dear Parent/Guardian,

      This letter is to let you know of some changes in attendance reporting.  Maine State law requires all students, ages 7 – 17 to attend school.  Previously, each school district tracked individual student attendance data and were legally required to report students who were determined to be truant.  The attendance law now requires each district to also report students who are determined to be chronically absent.  The definitions below clarify the difference between the two terms:

Truancy:

  • Counts only unexcused absences.
  • A student age 7 or above who hasn’t completed 6th grade and has 5 or more consecutive unexcused absences OR 7 or more cumulative absences.
  • A student who has completed 6th grade but is not yet 17 and has 7 or more consecutive unexcused absences OR 10 or more cumulative absences.

Chronically Absent:

  • Counts both unexcused AND excused absences.
  • Absent 10% or more of the number of days a student is enrolled.

 For the 2016-17 school year we have tracked the total number of students who met the definition of Chronically Absent.  The percentages below represent the percent of the total student population for that school that were chronically absent:

 

Camden Rockport Elementary School                            11.63%

Camden Rockport Middle School                                   18.18%

Camden Hills Regional High School                              16.97%

ME Public School Average                                             15.91%

 
We know that attendance at school is extremely important.  Research has shown that regular school attendance is one of the strongest predictors of academic success and diploma attainment.  In fact, by 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.

Your help is greatly appreciated moving forward to help us in our efforts to increase student attendance. We would love to see lower rates of chronic absenteeism in 2018-19!

Some great resources and further information about attendance can be located at http://www.attendanceworks.org/.  If you should have any questions about our attendance policies or procedures, please feel free to contact your child’s school or myself.

 

Sincerely,

 Debra McIntyre

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