Chronically Absent Students


Chronically Absent Students

What does this measure?

The share of students in a school or district missing 10% or more of days in a school year due to absence.

Why is this important?

School attendance is critical to a student's education. Elementary children who do not regularly attend school will miss out on developing key skills, such as reading and arithmetic, critical to future success in school and life. Secondary school children who do not regularly attend school are at higher risk of failing and dropping out, exhibiting delinquent behavior, and engaging in various forms of risky behaviors. School attendance is linked to success in academic and social outcomes both during school years and later in life.

How is our region doing?

In 2017, 10% of students were chronically absent in MetroWest, below the state rate (14%) and flat since 2009. Rates were above 10% in Milford, Framingham and Marlborough (all at 14%), Bellingham (13%), Waltham and Hudson (both at 12%), Dedham and Concord-Carlisle (both at 11%). Rates were less than 5% in Lexington (3%), Dover, Westwood, Sudbury, Dover-Sherborn, Concord, Carlisle, Medfield and Southborough (all at 4%).

Rates in local charter schools ranged from 7-11%, with Francis W. Parker Charter Essential at the high end of the range and Innovation Academy Charter at the low end.

Chronic absence rates decreased the most since 2009 in Waltham (down 5 percentage points) and Ashland (down 4 points). The Harvard School District experienced the largest increase (up 4 points), followed by Concord-Carlisle, Milford and Wellesley (all up 3 points).

Notes about the data

Chronic absence is a different way of looking at school attendance from the more traditional measure of average daily attendance. Increasingly, educators and policymakers are tracking chronic absence as a more telling and insightful indicator. In any school or district, average daily attendance can be seemingly high (90% or higher) even though a small or moderate share of students are missing a lot of school.

Chronically Absent Students
Acton School District5%8%4%4%4%5%
Acton-Boxborough School District8%5%4%5%5%5%5%5%6%
Ashland School District10%10%6%5%5%5%6%5%6%
Bedford School District10%8%7%6%7%7%6%7%7%
Bellingham School District15%13%11%12%12%11%12%12%13%
Boxborough School District3%5%5%7%6%4%
Carlisle School District5%4%5%5%5%4%4%5%4%
Christa McAuliffe Charter Public (District)10%10%9%8%7%6%6%8%8%
Concord School District4%4%3%3%4%4%4%4%4%
Concord-Carlisle School District8%11%11%10%9%9%9%9%11%
Dedham School District11%14%10%9%12%12%10%9%11%
Dover School District6%2%3%4%2%3%2%3%4%
Dover-Sherborn School District5%6%7%5%4%3%5%4%4%
Framingham School District15%13%13%12%11%12%12%12%14%
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential11%17%15%12%13%11%10%11%11%
Franklin School District6%7%6%6%7%8%8%7%8%
Harvard School District5%8%9%10%9%8%9%10%8%
Holliston School District6%6%6%5%6%6%6%6%6%
Hopkinton School District4%4%4%4%5%4%4%5%5%
Hudson School District11%10%9%9%9%10%12%10%12%
Innovation Academy Charter8%7%8%5%6%7%8%7%7%
Lexington School District5%4%4%3%4%3%4%3%3%
Lincoln School District7%8%9%8%11%11%9%9%9%
Lincoln-Sudbury School District5%5%4%5%5%4%4%5%5%
Littleton School District7%8%7%7%7%6%6%6%7%
Marlborough School District12%12%11%10%12%15%13%12%14%
Maynard School District9%8%7%7%9%10%10%8%9%
Medfield School District6%5%4%4%3%4%5%4%4%
Medway School District8%8%7%4%6%10%8%7%8%
Milford School District11%12%11%10%11%11%12%11%14%
Millis School District8%7%5%5%6%4%5%6%6%
Nashoba School District7%8%7%6%6%5%6%7%7%
Natick School District8%9%8%7%7%6%7%6%6%
Needham School District3%5%5%6%5%5%5%5%5%
Sherborn School District3%1%1%4%2%3%3%3%5%
Southborough School District5%5%5%4%5%5%4%5%4%
Sudbury School District5%5%5%4%5%4%3%4%4%
Walpole School District7%6%5%5%6%6%6%5%6%
Waltham School District17%16%14%14%15%14%12%11%12%
Wayland School District5%5%5%4%4%5%5%4%5%
Wellesley School District6%5%4%5%8%6%9%10%9%
Westborough School District5%5%5%5%5%5%5%5%6%
Westford School District5%4%4%4%5%4%4%4%5%
Weston School District3%3%5%4%5%7%9%7%6%
Westwood School District6%5%4%4%5%4%4%4%4%

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

Number of Chronically Absent Students
Acton School District11521210888100116
Acton-Boxborough School District237147127131134145306292313
Ashland School District260253152132131132143146149
Bedford School District235197174156186185154185175
Bellingham School District409350290287295264283275296
Boxborough School District162323322818
Carlisle School District322733303328262825
Christa McAuliffe Charter Public (District)202021202022233332
Concord School District837066589481768486
Concord-Carlisle School District99134132122110113112115139
Dedham School District311396297266348338272258307
Dover School District321414201115101517
Dover-Sherborn School District587075544837594748
Framingham School District1,2481,0601,0479979279529871,0171,205
Francis W. Parker Charter Essential436760485243394343
Franklin School District382398362369399444456358411
Harvard School District6098108130111929910893
Holliston School District165160181139175175175165182
Hopkinton School District138148131119164149142184163
Hudson School District337319263251249283339290312
Innovation Academy Charter303750313851615555
Lexington School District318260274205234225237215226
Lincoln School District80879792134139117107110
Lincoln-Sudbury School District887663747172617283
Littleton School District1071221091051079296101112
Marlborough School District525527480464532658586552629
Maynard School District1211029498120145135111131
Medfield School District168139115100849612999115
Medway School District223218182110149250184175178
Milford School District465503456415450452509459590
Millis School District11010579678057728681
Nashoba School District245257231207187168215237242
Natick School District382402362341339333365342306
Needham School District169250252297268260281251279
Sherborn School District154415710121222
Southborough School District787278567062496349
Sudbury School District15214214512014110589119107
Walpole School District255221214205225224241211224
Waltham School District803753662704744722646586666
Wayland School District144145137118114121133101127
Wellesley School District294248176234386322461482447
Westborough School District181190172158179194188176236
Westford School District244211190227247218211221276
Weston School District827910997123170192148123
Westwood School District175140129115146112115113117

Source: Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

Early Prenatal Care by Mother's Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty Not Applicable
Children Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families Not Applicable
Single-Parent Families by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Disengaged Youth Not Applicable
Reports of Domestic Violence Not Applicable
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation Establishments Not Applicable
Households Without Vehicles Not Applicable
Means of Transportation to Work Not Applicable
Average Travel Time to Work Not Applicable
Households With Internet Access Not Applicable
Voter Participation Rate Not Applicable
Average Charitable Contribution Not Applicable
Protected Land Not Applicable
Drug Poisoning Mortality Rate Not Applicable
Crimes Against People Not Applicable
Incarceration Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Change in Total Population Not Applicable
Change in Population by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Foreign-Born Population Not Applicable
Language Diversity Not Applicable
Population by Age Not Applicable
Change in Population by Age/Gender Not Applicable
Seniors Living Alone Not Applicable
People with Disabilities Not Applicable
Change in Total Jobs by Sector Not Applicable
Unemployment Rate Not Applicable
Average Salary by Sector Not Applicable
High-Tech Jobs Not Applicable
Female to Male Earnings Ratio Not Applicable
Prekindergarten Participation Not Applicable
Student Performance on Grade 3 English, by Student Subgroup Not Applicable
Chronically Absent Students Not Applicable
High School Cohort Graduation Rate by Student Group Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults Not Applicable
Education Levels of Adults, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Education Level Not Applicable
People Living in Poverty, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Household Receiving Temporary Assistance Not Applicable
Participation in Food Assistance by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Median Household Income Not Applicable
Median Household Income, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Living Wage Not Applicable
80/20 Income Ratio Not Applicable
Access to Financial Services, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates Not Applicable
Homeownership Rates, by Race/Ethnicity Not Applicable
Cost of Homeownership Not Applicable
Cost of Rent Not Applicable
Homelessness Not Applicable