Over 27,600 or 15% of Maine students are chronically absent, US Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights 2016. Students who miss school frequently are less likely to read proficiently by third grade, more likely to fail in middle school and eventually drop out of high school. Missing school, even in kindergarten, has consequences.
Chronic absence can be solved when:
Read more on this topic in an article published in the Portland Press Herald called For Young People to be College- and Career-Ready, Student Attendance Matters written by South Portland Superintendent Ken Kunin, RSU 57 Superintendent Larry Malone and Count ME In Director Susan Lieberman.
Count ME In is an exciting partnership of schools, youth, families, and the community including businesses, state agencies and community organizations working together as a team to determine how we can better support all children so they become successful engaged learners.
To create a solution, it takes commitment, collaboration, and tailored approaches to the particular challenges and strengths of each school and community. Through shared accountability, we will have greater impact.
Line Elementary School in West Newfield experienced a sharp decrease in their chronic absentee rate after implementing the Count ME In model. Their work was highlighted in the national report Portraits of Change: Aligning School and Community Resources to Reduce Chronic Absenteeism released in September, 2017 by Attendance Works and Johns Hopkins University.
The Count ME In website offers an array of training opportunities, resources, models, and strategies, that can be used in schools, home and the community. These resources are designed to be cost effective and high impact with universal preventative strategies for all students; intervention plans for students at risk of chronic absence; and an intensive approach targeting students who are chronically absent.