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Children are Successful in School (Anne Arundel County) and 1 more... less...

Children Are Successful in School (Anne Arundel CD)

Truancy: % of Students Absent More Than 20 Days in an Academic Year

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

Data reviewed for this Turn the Curve also included the "Excessive Absenteeism: Students Absent More than 20 Days in an Academic Year" for 9 - 12th graders only so that the overall student population data could be compared to the same data disaggregated by race. (See attached file with this graph below). MD Report Card does not have overall data in this category for 2020, presumably due to data limitations around COVID-19. 

•    trauma - internal to the family/child, external in the school and community
•    things going on inside the home with parents/siblings that schools aren't aware of
•    abuse
•    behavioral health issues (youth or family member)
•    economic issues
•    taking care of other siblings (oldest siblings prioritized to care for youngest siblings vs. attending school themselves)
•    suspensions (youth of color are disproportionately represented in suspensions/expulsions)
•    don't like attending school (bullied, don't feel safe, "don't see the point") 
•    transportation - lack of public options can mean that if a youth misses their bus, they can't get to school at all
•    student may feel they cannot relate to their peers (can be cultural or due to experiences they have that they perceive set them apart from peers)
•    cultural disconnects - both the students not feeling like they fit in (or knowing how to fit in) with a school culture different from their native culture (often immigrants) or school culture not being welcoming/accessible for students of different cultural/ethnic backgrounds
•    undiagnosed learning disabilities - problems tend to multiply as a child ages 
•    weather-related issues (transportation, safety, power, etc.)
•    issues for walkers (weather, lack of sidewalks on major roads, safe communities to walk through)
•    language barriers 
•    health/medical issues (exacerbated by racial/ethnic disparities)
•    parents work schedules 
•    peer pressure (ex: friends skipping class together)
•    not having clean clothes or the "right" clothes to wear to school
•    teacher bias ("too many white teachers" when compared to general school pop)
•    teachers are sometimes intimidated by black youth and will overreact or overcorrect to assert authority - contributes to disparities in discipline but also makes classrooms feel less safe/welcoming
•    lack of interest in school (particularly if they can't see the future or are uncertain as to what options they have)
•    COVID-19 (lack of structure, adults may not be there to support/make sure they are logging on every single time, less accountability, digital divide, internet access, feeling disconnected in the virutal world)
•    feeling pressured/overwhelmed - the amount of homework/outside of classwork can be brutal and overwhelming
•    parents income may affect their ability to get/use/access technology needs for school 
•    school policy - "criminalizing absenteeism"
•    role of school ambassadors/PPW's - should be focused on relationship building rather than being punitive
•    cultural sensitivity for school personnel working with families/students
•    student to personnel ratios are out of whack, particularly for roles like school counselors
•    teacher/admin staff meetings? - there is a real need for a "team approach" when it comes to struggling youth
•    domestic violence 
•    substance abuse
•    parents intimidated/lack of knowledge about what their kids are learning in the school so are (or feel) ill-equipped to support or help their children
•    parents overwhelmed in assisting with virtual learning - helping kids log in on time, submit assignments, meet other deadlines, particularly when parents are working 
•    homeless youth experience a multitude of challenges that make attending regularly very difficult
•    youth and their parents/families often lack awareness of the services available to help address some challenges/barriers 
•    barriers for what they services/meetings/programs they are available to attend (work schedule conflicts for parents)
•    Hispanic/Latinx disparities (immigrants may prioritize first-generation teens working rather than attending school because of the need for additional income, students having to translate for their parents, tools not being available in Spanish)


•    AACPS
•    District Court
•    DSS
•    Mental Health Agency/local providers
•    CSA
•    SOC/CRICT teams (Partnership)
•    Advanced Psychiatric Rehab Programs (Thrive, Empowering Minds, JIFI)
•    DJS
•    AACPL
•    Dept. of Health (immunizations, addressing health disparities)
•    Physicians/Pediatricians
•    BEST 2.0 (parenting/family engagement side of the work)
•    AACRC (Attendance, IEP, restorative practices, etc)
•    Families/Students
•    Maryland Coalition of Families
•    Center for Help
•    Parents Place of Maryland 
•    PPW/Social Workers
•    School Ambassadors
•    Mentoring Programs/Afterschool Programs - ex. YES, Black Wall Street, Gems & Jewels, Seeds 4 Success, etc.
•    Community Centers
•    Virtual learning centers

What Works

•    More parenting support programs (like BEST 2.0) that can help address issues within the family and provide parents with tools/supports to address chronic absenteeism
•    Mobile clinics and mobile services vans to address barriers and meet kids/families where they are
•    Penn Foster online academics - gets you MD diploma
•    Community Schools with additional services built in (like health)
•    AACRC (Attendance Mediation, IEP Mediation, Dialogue Circles within classroom, Restorative Practices)
•    Community Conferencing to help keep kids of color in the classroom
•    More interpreters/bilingual services
•    More mentoring/after-school programs (see above under "Partners") to provide kids with a variety of supportive tools & solutions as well as caring & accessible adults
•    Flexibility on case by case basis (give students/families access to tools/frameworks that will better suit their needs)
•    Tutoring
•    Safe Spaces Model 
•    Youth Move Chapters (reduce stigma so youth feel that they fit in) 
•    Collaborative team approach with the school system/school staff
•    Childrens Mental Healh Matters Campaign - better integration in schools
•    Engage community services prior to taking family to court (Strengthening Families, THRIVE, etc.)
•    New mechanisms to avoid criminalizing attendance issues!
•    Family Support Center program for teen moms
•    Need DJS to be a better partner - more effective partner - around enforcing attendance 
•    Project Attend - but without the unintended DJS record (could those kids be coded differently?)
•    Mom's Morning Out - incorporate info on attendance into workshops/info for moms of young children
•    Washington County Model - center/building where teen mom's and dads can be with their kids and engage in school with support
•    E-school models even when in-person school fully resumes - could reduce barriers for some youth around things like weather, transportation, safety, caring for younger siblings, etc. 
•    Hotspot & laptop packages to make sure online school is 100% accessible for all youth
•    Attendance Works - Awareness campaigns involving all child-serving agencies and community partners (flyers, website, etc.) so that all parents are getting consistent messages. Can we all get on board with September and Attendance Awareness Month!
•    Education incorporated into BTS nights to also speak to this and dig into WHY attendance is important and what supports are available
•    Responsible Actions Attendance Program - PPW's operate with 6 sessions


  1. Virtual Learning Options (even post-pandemic) - Programs & tools (like hotspots and Chromebook packages) to ensure virtual learning is accessible for all
  2. Expansion of Afterschool/Mentoring programs for youth at the middle and high-school levels (YES, BWS, Seeds, etc.) to provide access to supports, structure and caring adults in and outside of the classroom
  3. Training in bias/equity/trauma - stop "criminalizing" attendance issues and make school safer & more welcoming
  4. Incorporate county-wide use of something like Attendance Works across agencies/community partners to ensure consistent messaging and to make students and parents aware of supports/tools/resources available?

Data Discussion

The percent of students in all grades (public schools) absent more than 20 days of the school year (excluding summer school).

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Scorecard Container Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy