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Chronic Absence

Chronic Absence

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Published by PJ Naidu
Evaluation Tools, School Social Workers
Evaluation Tools, School Social Workers

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Published by: PJ Naidu on Dec 11, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Pesent, Enae, an Accunte F
Te Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades
Hedy N. Chang | Mariajosé Romero September 2008
The Natinal Cente f Chilen in Pvety (NCCP) is the natin’s leain publicplicy cente eicate t pmtin the ecnmic secuity, health, an well-beinf Ameica’s lw-incme families an chilen. Fune in 1989 as a ivisin f the Mailman Schl f Public Health at Clumbia Univesity, NCCP is a nnpatisan,public inteest eseach anizatin.
PrESENT, ENgAgEd ANd ACCoUNTEd ForThe Citical Imptance f Aessin Chnic Absence in the Ealy gaes
Hedy N. Chang with Mariajosé Romero, PhD
Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, is a researcher, writer and acilitator dedi-cated to promoting two- generational approaches to endingpoverty that help amilies achieve greater economic security andensure their children succeed in school. She consults with theAnnie E. Casey Foundation, along with a variety o other non-prots, oundations and government agencies.Mariajosé Romero, PhD, is senior research associate at NCCP,where her research ocuses on the educational consequences ochild poverty and issues o respect or diversity and social inclu-sion in early education.
This report was unded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Wethank them or their support but acknowledge that the ndings andconclusions presented in this report are those o the authors alone,and do not necessarily refect the opinions o the Foundation.We would also like to recognize the invaluable contributions oseveral individuals at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. A catalyticand inspirational orce, Ralph Smith deserves credit or helping allo us recognize that chronic early absence is a potentially criticaland overlooked issue deserving greater examination. Cindy Guyis deeply appreciated or her ongoing guidance and support,especially with conceptualizing and carrying out the local re-search, which also beneted rom the superb data skills o EdwinQuiambao. This work was greatly enhanced by the hard worko AECF consultant, Jeanne Jehl who helped to rene early dratsand solicit eedback rom colleagues.Charlie Bruner and his sta at the Child and Family PolicyProject have been outstanding partners and colleagues oeringsignicant contributions to the report content, data analysis andliterature review while also serving as a scal home or projectoperations.The analysis o local data was made possible through the hardwork and thoughtul participation o several research partnersincluding the Urban Institute, the National Neighborhood Indica-tors Partnership, the National Center or School Engagement,and Metis Associates.In February 2008, a consultative session was held to discuss adrat o this brie and the implications o our ndings or research,policy and practice. We deeply appreciate the rich insightsoered by the participants: Erika Beltran, Marty Blank, CindyBrown, Charlie Bruner, Frank Farrow, Ayeola Fortune, LindaGrobman, Janice Gruendal, Janis Hagey, Lisa Kane, MaryclaireKnight, Linda Manning, Ruth Mayden, Vicky Marchand, RuthMayden, Quentina Miller-Fields, Andy Plasky, Valerie Salley,Nina Sazer O’Donnell, Ken Seeley, Fasaha Traylor, and JuniousWilliams. In addition, we would like to especially recognizethe work o colleagues at Johns Hopkins, Robert Balanz, JoyceEpstein and Steve Sheldon, whose research has substantiallyinormed our work. Although we cannot list all o their names,we would like to express our sincere thanks to the many otherresearchers, practitioners, unders and advocates, who have inthe course o this eort, shared a wealth o inormation aboutrelevant research, promising practices and related educationalpolicies.The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private charitable organiza-tion dedicated to helping build better utures or disadvantagedchildren in the United States. It was established in 1948 by JimCasey, one o the ounders o UPS, and his siblings, who namedthe Foundation in honor o their mother. The primary mission othe Foundation is to oster public policies, human-service reorms,and community supports that more eectively meet the needs otoday’s vulnerable children and amilies. In pursuit o this goal,the Foundation makes grants that help states, cities, and neigh-borhoods ashion more innovative, cost-eective responses tothese needs. For more inormation, visit the Foundation’s websiteat www.aec.org.
Copyright © 2008 by the National Center or Children in Poverty
National Center for Children in Poverty
Present, Engaged, and Accounted For
Pesent, Enae, an Accunte F 
Te Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades
Hedy N. Chang | Mariajosé Romero September 2008
 What do we mean by chronic early absence?
ci ab    ii a x pi   b x a x ab a a ia. giv  iia ipa  i v  ai,piay i  ay ya,  biv i i ipa  
ab. w iiay    “i ab,”ba   qy  , “ay,” y  x ab a  iapppia  baviqii a piiv p. ra a bai i, a  ba aa a ii x pi   b a ay i  i i , iy  a  p  apppia ay ivi.mv,  i a 5, 6  7 ya  a, y a iy  b ab   i i pa’ .w  i i ab a ii 10 p     ya (qiva  18 ay   a 180ay  ya) a   ab a x x. I i i i   i i a k-3,i i i
ab. A a a a iia vay,  pp i  ii i a by naia c  ci i Pvy  a i v  ab i   ya   a aia i aai pa i bq a.
At the core o school improvement and educationreorm is an assumption so widely understood thatit is rarely invoked: students have to be present andengaged in order to learn. Tat is why the discovery that thousands o our youngest students areacademically at-risk because o extended absenceswhen they rst embark upon their school careersis as remarkable as it is consequential. Schools andcommunities have a choice: we can work togetherearly on to ensure amilies get their children to classconsistently or we can pay later or ailing to inter- vene beore problems are more dicult and costly to ameliorate.Schools have served our country well as gateways tomore opportunity or children. What happens whenchildren rst enter school deeply aects whether thisopportunity is realized. During the early elementary years, children are gaining basic social and academicskills critical to ongoing academic success. Unlessstudents attain these essential skills by third grade,they require extra help to catch up and are at graverisk or eventually dropping out o school.Common sense and research suggest that being inschool consistently is important to ensuring childrengain a strong oundation or subsequent learning.Research shows that children, regardless o gender,socioeconomic status or ethnicity, lose out whenthey are chronically absent (that is, they miss nearly a month o school or more over the course o ayear). Children chronically absent in kindergartenshow lower levels o achievement in math, readingand general knowledge during rst grade. Going toschool regularly in the early years is especially crit-ical or children rom amilies living in poverty, whoare less likely to have the resources to help childrenmake up or lost time in the classroom. Among poorchildren, chronic absence in kindergarten predictsthe lowest levels o educational achievement at theend o h grade.When chronic early absence occurs, everyone pays.Te educational experiences o children who attendschool regularly can be diminished when teachersmust divert their attention to meet the learningand social needs o children who miss substantial

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