Truancy, Absenteeism A Chronic Problem In D.C. Schools
The school system has hired more staff devoted to reducing absenteeism and has intensified its focus on attendance as a key element of evaluating schools and principals. There are signs of progress, especially at the elementary level, where at the end of the first semester of this school year, the rate of chronic truancy had dropped 27 percent compared with the same point last year. Total absenteeism also has begun to drop.
But even with the improvements, children still miss an enormous number of class days, raising questions about whether the District has found an effective approach to reduce absences.