Absences + Connection with Youth and Family = Engagement

Youth are more successful at school when everyone involved in the youths life:

  • Are intentional in developing positive connections/relationships 
  • Notice and show caring about students’ attendance and absence
  • Learn more beyond what you see or “think”, or from your point of view
  • Give notice to efforts and strengths, and changes (good and concerning)
  • Understand expectations (similarities and differences) between home and school
  • Acknowledge shared goals, the resources and the barriers to academic attainment
  • Invite parents to be educational partners in their child’s academics

Student absences and signs of disengagement (argumentative with teachers, not doing their job as a student) can be signs of something wrong - at home, with peers, or relationship/trust with school personnel, and not a discipline issue.Absences and disconnection may be a relationship to school issue.

Disconnection concerns quickly lead to truancy and pushing youth out of school if prevention steps are missed.

Please contact Ana Foy with any Truancy concerns:  425-408-7727 (NSD attendance line)

Useful On-line Resource:
OSPI Education Law in Washington State 

Why Attendance Matters!!


  • Chronic absences = missing more that 10% of the school year, excused or unexcused.  This is just 2 days per month.
  • Only 17% of students who are chronically absent in kindergarten, first, or second grade are reading at grade level by third grade
  • 90% of students who miss more than four days in September are chronically absent for the school year.
  • Fourth grade students on Free/Reduced lunch are 30% more likely to be chronically absent.  In eighth grade, they are 40% more likely to be chronically absent.
  • By middle and high school, chronic absence is a leading warning indictor that students will drop out before graduation
  • Students who are absent more than 20% of sixth grade have only a 20% chance of graduating high school.
  • Students who end 6th grade on track and on grade level are four times more likely to graduate high school
  • Students who enter high school two or more years behind grade level in math and reading have on a 50% of on time promotion to 10th grade
  • Adults without a high school diploma make an average of 1 million less over a lifetime than adults with a diploma
    Only 11% of students who were chronically absent in high school finish their first year of college