Improving student attendance is a top priority for Milwaukee Public Schools for the 2018–19 school year, and the district invited parents and the community to support efforts to have students in school every day at the Attendance Kickoff event at Bradley Tech High School. Members of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors were on hand to support the initiative as well as representatives of the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association.
“By sixth grade, chronic absence is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school,” said Interim Superintendent Dr. Keith Posley. “We know students who attend school on a regular basis are more likely to graduate and to be successful in life. We want all MPS students to be successful, which means all MPS students must be in school, starting day one.”
When students are not in school, they cannot learn. Missing just a few days can add up, and the consequences for students are significant and reduce their chance for success in school and life, according to research from Attendance Works.
• Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the school year. Students who miss two to four days in September are more likely to miss the equivalent of a month of school by the end of the school year.
• One in ten kindergarten and first-grade students are chronically absent (10 days absent or more). Poor attendance in these early years can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade.
• Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school year, or about 17 days, negatively affects a student’s academic performance.
• A student who misses 10 percent of school days per year has missed a full year of school by tenth grade.