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Oregon Students Among ‘Chronically Absent’


Results of a recent study out of Johns Hopkins University out Thursday found alarming numbers of “chronically absent” students in grades K-12 nationally.

And not good news: Oregon students rank high on that list.

Researchers say missing a lot of classes puts those students at risk of dropping out of school or failing to graduate in the future.

The report found 10-15 percent of students nationwide missed about 10 percent of school days in a given year from 2009-2010. That totals about 7.5 million students.

And 23 percent of students in the state of Oregon fell into the chronically absent category.

Only a handful of states measure this data, including Oregon, Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska and Rhode Island. . “It really does set up kids for patterns right through high school,” said Bruce Reynolds, principal of Elk Meadow Elementary in Bend. “Probably our most successful kids are the ones that are here at school as much as they can, and have those habits and attitudes and routines really in place.”

Researchers say the best thing is to recognize the problem and call for an early intervention. Reynolds says Bend-La Pine Schools are doing just that.

They evaluate student attendance on a daily basis, and every six weeks they look at individual behavior, in order to focus on what families need to help get their kids to school.

“Bend-La Pine has been looking at attendance pretty closely, so we may be ahead of the national norms and the national studies,” Reynolds said Thursday.

“As we’re looking at establishing world class schools and very rigorous curriculum and education, it really places the emphasis to be here (in school),” he said.

Kids these days miss school for a lot of reasons but the report lists three main reasons:

1. Personal obligations

2. Students skipping class

3. Students’ parents taking them out of school.

Link to the report: “Up to 7.5 million students miss a month of school each year”

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