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Attendance is essential to strong outcomes for students and consistent attendance provides the best opportunity for students to consistently engage in learning. Daily attendance and engagement in learning is essential to student success at all grade levels. Colorado law directly connected to attendance focuses on compulsory school attendance, truancy and school finance. Important student attendance definition of rates and terms include:
Truancy: Truancy is defined as an unexcused absence. The rate is calculated by dividing the reported Total Student Days Unexcused Absences by the Total Student Days Possible.
Habitually Truant (Student Count): A student is counted as habitually truant if the student has four unexcused absences in one month and/or 10 absences in one school year.
Chronically Absent: A student absent 10 percent or more of the days enrolled during the school year is chronically absent. All absences are included – unexcused, excused and suspensions. The rate is the percentage of students enrolled who are chronically absent.
Statewide Trends in Attendance
*Attendance data was collected August 2019-March 2020
Competitive Grants to Support Attendance
The Dropout Prevention and Student Re-Engagement Office manages three competitive grant programs that schools and districts can use to implement attendance and engagement improvement strategies. The grants vary in overall focus and additional information is available for each grant.
Research examining attendance and student outcomes across the K-12th grade continuum shows that stronger attendance and good attendance patterns are connected to stronger academic outcomes.
"The good news of this report is that being in school leads to succeeding in school. Achievement, especially in math, is very sensitive to attendance, and absence of even two weeks during one school year matters. Attendance also strongly affects standardized test scores and graduation and dropout rates.” Taken from: Study from Everyone Graduates Center – Johns Hopkins University
“When schools provide engaging, supportive, welcoming and culturally responsive environments, families are inclined to help their children get to school, and students are motivated to attend, even when there are hurdles to getting there.” Taken from: Report from Attendanceworks and American Institutes for Research (AIR)
Middle school students who are chronically absent are more likely to fall behind and less likely to graduate from high school.2