School Attendance

Why This Is Important

Regular school attendance is one of the best predictors of academic success. Poor attendance is correlated with low test scores, grades and school completion. Students who attend school 95 percent of the time or more are twice as likely to pass standardized tests. When students are in school, they are less likely to become involved in criminal activity. More than half of the students who go to court for truancy have already been to court for other crimes. In some urban areas, getting truants off the streets has decreased daytime crime anywhere from 30 percent to 68 percent.

What's Being Done

Key initiatives to improve school attendance include:

  • School Attendance Review Board - a community and school collaborative program to provide intensive guidance and coordinated community services to meet the special needs of students with attendance issues.
  • Knock and Talk - a collaborative partnership with the Minneapolis Police Department. When appropriate, officers visit the homes of students who have missed a designated number of school days to inform the parents that the student has been excessively absent and deliver written information about resources and the legal consequences of not attending school.
  • Education for Success - a collaboration between Hennepin County and the Minneapolis Public Schools that gives intensive support to K-5 students who have six or more unexcused absences and their families.
  • Check and Connect - a student engagement program focused on working with youths who are at risk of dropping out.

About This Measure

Attendance results come from the Minnesota Department of Education and are the official No Child Left Behind rates of attendance for all students in the district. No Child Left Behind has an established attendance goal of 90 percent.

Last updated Feb 25, 2013

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