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New Haven school district deals with chronic absenteeism

Mary Grey, a language specialist, helps out in the classroom.
Dan Krauss
/
NPR
Mary Grey, a language specialist, helps out in the classroom.

Education officials in New Haven are looking for solutions to improve attendance for students and teachers, as the school district faces chronic absenteeism issues.

According to data collected from the previous school year, more than half of the city’s students were deemed chronically absent.

That means students that have missed 10% or more of the school year. Students who are sick, in quarantine or serving an out-of-school suspension are all marked as absent and added to the number.

Data also showed that teacher absences spiked in the previous school year. School staff told the board that a significant number of absences were COVID-related for both students and teachers.

The school district has started working with the national organization Attendance Works to curb the absentee rate.

Jeniece Roman is WSHU's Report for America corps member who writes about Indigenous communities in Southern New England and Long Island, New York.