Chronic absenteeism falls after launch of Surrey’s Attendance Matters

Chronic absenteeism falls after launch of Surrey’s Attendance Matters

Supported by The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Adopt-a-School initiative since 2011, Attendance Mattershas resulted in a substantial drop in absenteeism among children from kindergarten to Grade 3, according to statistics collected by the Surrey school district.

Statistics show the highest rates of chronic absenteeism occurred in 2010/11, before Attendance Matters was launched and supported by Adopt-A-School. Chronic absenteeism is defined as a child missing more than 10 days of school in a school year. Statistics show that chronic absenteeism among children from kindergarten to Grade 3 will make them less likely to graduate than other students.

Among the Attendance Matters schools studied, the drop in absenteeism among chronically absent K-3 students averaged 12 per cent; in some schools it was as high as 50 per cent.

For example, at Hjorth Road Elementary, 42 per cent of students in K-3 were chronically absent.

This number dropped by more than half, to less than 20 per cent of K-3 students being chronically absent, by 2014/15, the most recent statistics available.

The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Adopt-A-School initiative currently supports 20 Attendance Mattersprograms in Surrey.

The school district has applied for $100,000 to pay for the Attendance Matters breakfasts, which plays a major part in attracting needy children to school.

 

By Gerry Bellett (gbellett@gmail.com)

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