Chronic Absence and Truancy

  • Many families mistakenly think that it's okay to miss school if the absences are excused. 
     

    But missing school, no matter the reason, means that students are missing out on important classroom lessons.
     

    And since what they learn tomorrow builds on what they learned today, missing even one day can make it hard for students to catch up to their peers. 
     

     
     Chronic Absence   Truancy
     
    20 or more absences in a school year
    ~5 days a quarter
    ~2 days a month 
     
    data icon
    15 or more absences
    excused and unexcused absences calendar i con
     
    only unexcused absences
     
     
    school-level consequences
     
    legal icon legal consequences
     
     
     
    According to the Maryland Department of Education, students who miss more than 20 days in a school year (no matter the reason) are considered chronically absent and struggle to keep up in school. That means that students who miss as few as 5 days a quarter or 2 days a month are at risk of becoming chronically absent and must make every effort to come to school every day to make sure they stay on track. 
     
    Truancy, on the other hand, is a legal term used to identify students who have missed more than 20% of school days (about 3.5 days per month) without a legal reason. Parents of students who are truant are legally responsible and can be taken to court.