School attendance improving in Connecticut

November 29, 2016

School attendance across our state is improving. Students are missing fewer school days according to a recent report. This is good news for our state as we work to improve our graduation rates, close the achievement gap across the board and encourage a strong and vibrant student body for Connecticut’s future workforce. For our communities to succeed we need students who invest time and effort in their own education and achieve their academic goals.

The report on chronic absenteeism by the Department of Education (SDE) shows that chronic school absenteeism has declined by at least 1 percent statewide.

This past session, we passed a bill that addressed several juvenile concerns and made critical changes affecting school disciplinary and related issues including juvenile justice matters and children returning to school after a juvenile justice placement.

Under the old law, a student was a truant if he or she had four unexcused absences in a month or 10 unexcused absences in a school year. Now, we require the SDE to identify effective truancy intervention models at any school with a disproportionately high truancy rate.

I am invigorated to see, while small, this decline in absenteeism today as a signal of progress and better days to come for all our students to succeed and for our schools to improve overall student performance.

Let’s continue to work and support our school communities, and if you can, please plan to get involved in a student's life by motivating him to stay in school to ensure a better and stronger Connecticut.