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Truancy Reduction — A Strategy Brief

from University of Nebraska-Lincoln

The definition of truancy varies from school to school, but typically students are considered truant when they fail to attend school for either part or all of a school day. When students miss more than 10% of the total number of days in a semester they are considered chronically absent. Approximately 5 to 7.5 million students are chronically absent and this problem is more severe among students from low-income families. Existing evidence indicates that truancies peak in the transition from middle school to high school (i.e., around 9th grade) and that racial and ethnic minority groups are more likely to be truant than Caucasian youth. However, females and males tend to skip school at approximately the same rate. Truancy and chronic absenteeism can have a serious impact on student dropout and graduation rates and should be monitored closely in order to intervene before students fall into this pattern of behavior.

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