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ODE launches effort to fight chronic absenteeism


The Oregon Department of Education announced Tuesday it is launching a new website and toolkits for educators and families aimed at providing information and other resources to help reduce chronic absenteeism in Oregon.

The website,, is the core tool in a campaign called Every Day Matters which highlights the importance that regular attendance plays in a student’s education and how communities from around the state can join efforts with their local school district.

Reducing chronic absenteeism is a key piece in Governor Brown’s vision for having 90 percent of students graduate within four years of starting freshman year of high school, either with a diploma or with a GED.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as when a student misses 10-percent or more of class days in a school year. ODE research confirms national studies showing connections between attendance and student outcomes including improved test scores and graduation rates.

“We know that every day a student attends school means an additional opportunity for learning,” ODE Director Colt Gill said. “Our Every Day Matters campaign is one part of a larger effort throughout the state to improve attendance. Reducing chronic absenteeism requires all of us to do our part.

“Schools need to make sure students are welcomed and engaged, families need to recognize the importance of attendance and every community needs to look at local barriers that can impact student attendance.”

The Every Day Matters campaign builds on ODE’s previously rolled out efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism. The Oregon Legislature approved funding for a chronic absenteeism plan which started this school year.

The chronic absenteeism plan includes:

· Twenty-seven school districts that are receiving targeted support from 12 ODE chronic absenteeism coaches to collaborate and implement their absenteeism plan.

· Eight regional coordinators that have been hired in collaboration with the Oregon Association of Education Service Districts to coordinate efforts in districts throughout Oregon to provide professional learning that addresses chronic absenteeism.

· The website and toolkits released Tuesday include: Best practice guide, flyers, and yard signs, banners and posters that can be used by districts, families and communities to raise awareness and combat chronic absenteeism across Oregon.

ODE has partnered with other state agencies and other partners, including: the Oregon Department of Transportation; Oregon Health Authority; Healthy Kids Learn Better Coalition; and the Department of Human Services to leverage all of the supports Oregon needs to address chronic absenteeism.

For more information, click into the Every Day Matters website.

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