• Parents, we need your help.  Schools in Roanoke County, like schools across the state and the nation, are experiencing a sharp increase in what’s known as chronic absenteeism – and this is having a significant impact on our students and our schools.

    Many parents already understand about excused and unexcused absences.  However, we are becoming concerned with the increasing number of our students who have excessive absences – those that have missed ten-percent or more of the school year. 

    Any student who has missed 18 days or more over the entire school year, no matter the reason, are labeled as chronically absent.   Statewide, the number of students who are chronically absent has tripled since the pandemic, and here in Roanoke County, the number of students who are chronically absent has risen dramatically since the pandemic.

    Parents - chronic absenteeism has a detrimental impact on the educational success of your children.  Learning works best when it’s in-person with students in school who are collaborating with each other on projects and participating in labs and experiments and have a teacher right there to provide guidance and support. 

    When a student misses so much instructional time, it becomes very difficult to catch up and a student’s academic progress could suffer greatly.  Showing up for school each day builds good habits and a strong work ethic to show up for work each day later in life.

    Chronic absenteeism also has a significant impact on our schools.  If 15-percent or more of the student body at any school is chronically absent, then that school would not be accredited, regardless of the academic performance the entire school.  While we are fortunate that all our schools are accredited this year, there are some schools that may not be accredited in years to come if these high levels of chronic absenteeism continue.

    Eighteen days sounds like a high number, but you’d be surprised at how easily and quickly a student can become chronically absent. 

    Parents, while we do still encourage you to keep your children home if they have a fever or are vomiting, we encourage you to send students to school even if they are feeling a little off or have a bit of a cold.  Those every-once-in-while sick days add up. 

    Again, even if an absence is excused, it still counts for chronic absenteeism.   Sickness, vacation, or any other absence – it doesn’t matter.  If a student misses 18 days or more – that student is considered chronically absent. 

    Parents and students remember – show up for success! 

  • missing days of school can add up quickly