Chronic Absenteeism Reduction Effort
Rx for Chronic
Nearly 30% of K-12th graders in Washington, D.C., public schools are chronically absent, according to data from the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education. A new project to share absenteeism data with healthcare providers is making an impact.
Absenteeism is a leading indicator of educational inequities, and a substantial proportion of school absences are connected to mental and physical health conditions, as well as socioeconomic and environmental factors.
In fact, youth of color, youth from low-income backgrounds, and youth that have experienced trauma are 4x more likely to be chronically absent.
Recognizing this critical intersection of education and health, the CARE project was developed to strengthen the connections between healthcare providers and educators by training healthcare providers about chronic absenteeism and using secure data sharing to engage providers in addressing chronic absenteeism.
Through this novel initiative — a partnership between public schools and health systems in Washington, D.C. — families consent to have their student’s attendance data shared with their healthcare providers, who then conduct outreach to families to provide resources and medical attention, as needed. Receiving absenteeism data helps healthcare providers identify students who may be behind on well-child visits and immunizations.
To date, the project has reached 40 families with students in grades K-12 across six public schools and three health centers, and continues to expand its reach and local impact on health and educational outcomes.
Learn more about the project:
Read the CARE Playbook to learn how school districts and health systems can share data to keep kids in school.
Taking action to address health-related chronic absenteeism can have a powerful impact on students’ academic success and build the foundation for healthy, successful lives.
- American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on the Link Between School Attendance and Good Health
- Attendance Works
- District of Columbia Public Schools: Chronic Absenteeism Reduction Effort Pilot Program
- Children’s National: Strengthening Cross-Sector Collaborations with Schools
- Podcast: How Pediatricians Are Addressing School Absenteeism
Feedback and Contact Form
Tell us how you’re addressing chronic absenteeism in your area or send us questions about how to launch a partnership between health systems and schools.