In Highline and Federal Way, 1 in 5 students was chronically absent from school.
In Washington state, a student who misses 18 or more full school days (10% of the school year) for any reason is considered chronically absent. Students who are chronically absent are more likely to fall behind in reading and math and less likely to graduate from high school. According to a 2017 national report, Washington’s schools had the 2nd highest rate of chronic absenteeism in the nation.
In the 2014-2015 school year, 13.5% of King County students were chronically absent. Also in 2014-2015:
School district: Highline and Federal Way School Districts reported the highest percentage of chronically absent students (20.0%). Chronic absenteeism was lowest in Issaquah School District (5.9%).
Race/ethnicity: Asian and white students were less likely than King County overall to be chronically absent. American Indian/Alaska Native, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander students were more likely than King County overall. This was true for all 3 years of data.
Student status: Some groups of students were more likely to be chronically absent than others:
Low income students were twice as likely as non-low income students to be chronically absent (20.5% versus 9.3%).
Migrant students were more likely than non-migrant students to be chronically absent (24.3% versus 13.4%).
Students with accommodations for disabilities (Section 504) were more likely to be chronically absent than students without accommodations (20.0% versus 13.2%).
Special education students were more likely to be chronically absent than non-special-education students (19.9% vs. 12.5%).
Notes & Sources
Source: Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) Performance Indicators: http://www.k12.wa.us/DataAdmin/PerformanceIndicators/DataAnalytics.aspx
Numerator: Students that have missed at least 18 full days of school for any reason (excused or unexcused)
Denominator: Students in attending school in King County School Districts
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