Reaching kindergarten parents key to fixing post-pandemic surge in absenteeism

Record-high chronic school absentee rates in California show little sign of returning to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, and data shows that’s especially true for kindergarten students.

Chronic absenteeism surged to 40% among kindergarten students in the 2021-22 school year, said Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, founder and executive director of Attendance Works.

Initial numbers from the 2022-23 school year aren’t much better, according to Erica Peterson, the director of education and engagement for School Innovations & Achievement, a national firm that tracks attendance at 356 school districts in California. Numbers improved 2-3 points for most grade levels, but they didn’t budge for kindergarten students.

Enrollment in kindergarten has long lagged below other grades — due in part to its optional status in California. But enrollment among kindergartners and transitional kindergartners dropped most rapidly between the 2019-20 and 2021-22 school years: 9 points and 15 points respectively.

Please help put parents in charge of their child’s education by forwarding this article to other parents, family, friends and voters.
Kindergarten by Lucas Alexander is licensed under Unsplash

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