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Attendance Matters

High absence rates are on the rise.

Last year, high absence rates in South Dakota’s K-12 schools nearly doubled. Students who miss class are missing out on opportunity, essential knowledge and the chance to create a brighter future. Let’s keep South Dakota moving forward by keeping our next generation in class.

Don’t skip these statistics.
  • In 2020, the number of South Dakota students missing 30 or more days of school doubled.
  • Missing just two days of school a month can negatively affect a student’s grades.
  • Students who don't graduate high school earn, on average, $260,000 less in lifetime earnings than students who do.
  • Chronic truancy has been linked to higher rates of substance abuse, delinquency, suicidal thoughts, violence and incarceration.

Let’s keep kids in class. Here’s what you can do.
Which Students are Missing Class the Most?

Certain subgroups of students are disproportionately missing 30 or more days in class, including economically disadvantaged students, Native American students and Hispanic students. Overall, 6.4% of students missed more than 30 days during the 2020-2021 school year, versus 3.8% in 2018-2019. See the full report.

Tips to Encourage Attendance

The best thing you can do is talk to your kids. Take an interest in their schoolwork, ask about any potential issues at school (bullying, a lack of school supplies, medical issues, etc.) and convey the importance of education in their lives. Ask why they’ve been truant or uninterested in school.

Parents and guardians can also take an active role in establishing expectations for attendance, communicating rules consistently and enforcing consequences immediately if your child skips class.

Finally, put accountability measures in place to monitor your child’s behavior. Establish a carpool, watch them get on the bus in the morning, contact the school office to ensure they arrive and maintain a regular routine. Finally, always look for negative behavior changes like alcohol use, aggression or depression as signals to get help.

Parent & Guardian Resources