During the 2015 - 2016 school year, 3,334 students were absent 21 or more days in grades Kindergarten - 5th Grade. One in 10 Polk County kindergarten students missed at minimum 10% of the school year - approximately 157 hours of instruction time in the classroom.
Identified as a key need by the Polk County School District’s Strategic Plan, the Attendance Team is committed to promoting awareness of the importance of school attendance within the school district and the community. Attendance plays a critical role in achieving academic success and can impact student achievement as early as pre-K.
Attending school regularly is essential to students gaining the academic and social skills they need to succeed. Reducing absenteeism is a simple, cost-effective, but often overlooked strategy for improving academic performance. Starting as early as preschool and kindergarten, chronic absence can leave third graders unable to read proficiently, sixth graders struggling with coursework and high school students off track for graduation. Chronic absence is especially problematic among students living in poverty who are most likely to have poor attendance over multiple years and least likely to have the resources to make up for the lost time in the classroom.