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2024 Senior Awards Ceremony
2024 Senior Awards Ceremony
Marializ Diaz June 7, 2024

Waterford High School’s 2024 Senior Awards Ceremony was held on Tuesday, June 4th.  The ceremony gave honor to many...

Camille Cadrello meeting her roommate for the first time after talking online.
Finding a Roommate
Saeeda Samed, Author • June 4, 2024

As the school year comes to an end, the 2024 Waterford seniors are getting ready to graduate and move on. In college,...

Michael Ellis: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Michael Ellis: The Man, The Myth, The Legend
Saeeda Samed, Author • June 4, 2024

Inside the third floor computer room at Waterford High School resides veteran teacher Michael Ellis. This year marks Mr....

Absenteeism Among Students in WHS

Absenteeism+Among+Students+in+WHS

Absenteeism has always been an issue in schools. Absenteeism is the failure to report or stay present in school as scheduled, regardless of the reason. According to The US Department of Education, about 1 in 5 high school students are chronically absent. More than 20% of students in high school are chronically absent. 

Chronic absence rates increased from 12 percent (702,531 students) in 2018–19 to a high of 30% (1,799,734) in 2021–22. In 2022–23, there was a decrease to a chronic absenteeism rate of 25% (1,486,302 students). 

CT law requires school districts and schools to have specific policies and procedures regarding truant students. A truant student is defined as a student who has had 4 unexcused absences from school in one month (30 consecutive calendar days) or 10 unexcused absences in one school year. 

Waterford High School has a total of 704 students, and an average of 49 students (7%) are absent  each day. 

November and December have the most absences, with 8% of students being absent, and an average of 56 students missing school each day. February had the same number of absent students.

In August, the first month of the school year, there were only 1% of students absent from school. Since that first month of the school year, the numbers have only increased, with the exception of a few months.

If a student is chronically absent from school, it has an impact on a student’s ability to read at grade level, perform academically, and graduate on time. Good attendance among children can help them improve in school and create good habits for the workplace in the future. 

Research conducted at a national level indicates that consistent absence from school, regardless of the age or academic level, undermines both the academic progress and social development essential for success in education. 

Assistant Principal Mrs. Batty agrees that frequent absenteeism disrupts both academic progress and the development of critical social skills. She says, “Regular attendance at school is essential for maintaining a positive learning environment.  Students who feel connected to their school community tend to do better academically. Relationships are key! These can’t form when someone is chronically absent.”

Children from low-income backgrounds tend to experience chronic absenteeism more frequently due to various obstacles, such as limited access to healthcare, unstable housing situations, and unreliable transportation. Consequently, these children often face academic setbacks as their families typically lack the means to compensate for the missed educational opportunities.

Spanish teacher Ms. Champ says that absenteeism in students affects teachers, like herself, as well: “It means I have to spend time catching up. It’s difficult to have lessons for more than one class because students always miss a part of it.” Students are at many different levels, which makes class games impossible because some students have no idea what is happening in class.

Mrs. Baumgartner, a health teacher, often worries about her students when they miss school. While catching up students to the work they missed is difficult, it is still manageable. “In my class, I allow class time to complete work, so when a student is absent they will need to complete it on their own time. When a student is absent for a long time or has multiple absences, they miss content and important information for the class as well as a buildup of work in all their classes.” She stated.

Zoe Dell, sophomore, says that being absent affects her classwork by giving her more pressure and stress, as she’s not only behind everyone, but she also has more important problems to address as well. She said she does find it difficult to catch up on her work when she’s absent because “it’s not just one class I miss if I’m absent for a day, it’s all, so I have multiple stressors happening at once.”

Another sophomore stated that being absent also affects their schoolwork. They say that if you miss the curriculum, you will not be able to understand it as well as if you were in school. They also stated that “it is harder to catch up on work depending on how many days you missed, but it’s still difficult. The more class you miss, the more work you’re going to have to catch up on.” 

The more school that a student may miss, the more work that they are putting on themselves to catch up on. Nobody wants that stress so students should try their best to stay in school and complete their work.

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