Student Attendance Initiative

Student Attendance Initiative

This initiative aims to reduce educational inequities by maximizing students’ learning time in collaboration with school districts and community partners.

What is it?

Chronic absenteeism is a reality for many urban school districts, often disproportionately affecting underserved groups, including low-income students, students of color, those with special education needs, and students facing homelessness. Broadly defined, chronic absence measures when students miss so much school that they begin to fall behind and indicates that they need additional engagement and support. Monitoring when students miss opportunities to learn is an invaluable tool to ensure students continue to have access to educational opportunities.

What issues does it address?

The benefits of strong student attendance are evident in all grade levels:

  • PK – 1st Grade: Students who attend regularly in the early grades perform better on measures of academic and social and emotional capacities.
  • 3rd Grade: Students who attend school regularly are more likely to be able to read proficiently by the end of the 3rd grade.
  • Middle School: Students who attend school regularly are more likely to have passing grades in middle school.
  • High School: Students who attend school regularly are more likely to graduate from high school
  • College: Students who attend school regularly in high school are more likely to persist in college and graduate.

What role does United Way play?

United Way of Greater Kansas City is committed to reducing chronic absenteeism in Kansas City. With our partners at Turn the Page KC and Attendance Works, we are supporting the key chronic absenteeism reduction strategies in Hickman Mills and Center School Districts.

Additionally, we are pleased to partner with SchoolSmartKC and Turn the Page KC on our student attendance awareness campaign. We invite our community to help us share these resources with our students and families!

Additional Resources

Learning Together Every Day