What is Chronic Absenteeism?

  • Chronic absenteeism is based on total days of school missed, including both excused and unexcused absences. This is critical because the evidence indicates that it is how many days a student misses that matters, not why they miss them. In other words, the detrimental impacts of missing school occur if a student misses because of illness, suspension, the need to care for a family member, or any other reason.

    Chronic absenteeism is not the same as truancy. Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10 percent or more of school days. When taking into account an entire school year, a student is considered chronically absent if they miss 18 or more days.