How Can Educators Help to Reduce America’s Public School Absenteeism Problem?
According to USA Today, there are 7.5 million students who miss a month of school every year. This equates to thousands of students across the country skipping school every day. Although sometimes this is the result of something like illness or the occasional vacation, many times it is something preventable.
Chronic absenteeism has long-term harmful effects on academic progress, and both parents and schools likely need to do more to prevent this. What can be done to keep kids in school — and keep them learning? Here are a few ways this problem can be solved.
Schools Need to Address Common Issues Caused by Poverty
According to the Washington Post, a majority of U.S. public school students now come from low-income families (51%). This statistic means there will be a profound impact on how well the educational system addresses the needs of its students. Many of the reasons children living in poverty skip school are situations out of their control.
Not having enough to eat, not having reliable transportation, needing to work numerous hours to help support their families once they get into high school — all these present barriers to education. Schools can attempt to make a difference by working to provide these services — and also identify those youth that are at a higher risk for absenteeism.
Uncomfortable Learning Environment
The equipment many of our public school students learn on is often decades old. When buildings start to age, there is often little educational money available to make the necessary repairs. And the lack of heating and cooling at some schools is widely known, with students resorting to wearing their winter coats to class in the colder months. HVAC services are incredibly necessary for getting students to come to class.
What student can concentrate easily on a math lesson when the classroom is 90 degrees? Air conditioning services — or air conditioning repairs, in some cases — are very necessary to creating a good learning environment. Schools should work with an air conditioning company to make sure every classroom is properly outfitted for student learning.
Changes Need to be Made
Whether it’s an increase in affordable student lunches or a call to an air conditioning company, changes need to be made in order to reduce the truancy that’s currently rampant in American public schools.