Districts Pivot Their Strategies to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism During Distance Learning

Erin Simon had big goals for this school year. The director of student support services for Long Beach Unified School District wanted to reduce the number of local students who were chronically absent, a term that refers to those who miss 15 or more school days of the academic year.

This has been a goal of Simon’s since she joined Long Beach Unified in fall 2013. But it has proven elusive. Her district’s chronic absenteeism rates have actually increased, from 13.3 percent (about 10,000 students) in the 2017-2018 school year, to 15.1 percent (about 11,000 students) in 2018-2019.

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