The Christian Science Monitor

To curb chronic absence, schools treat parents as partners

Students walked between classes at Gilbert Stuart Middle School in Providence, R.I. The school has utilized the My Brother's Keeper Success Mentors Initiative, a national campaign to address chronic absenteeism. Researchers have found that simple solutions, like carefully crafted letters home, have reduced chronic absenteeism by 10 percent or more in urban and suburban districts alike. Source: Alfredo Sosa/Staff/File

When her son started missing school frequently as a fourth-grader, the school wasn’t too adamant about it and neither was Laurie Serrano. If he missed the bus he stayed home, though she could have walked him.

“I didn’t have any education on the fact that that was keeping him behind,” she says.

Now schools are finding that one way to curb chronic absenteeism is rather simple: Communicate better with families.

New research shows that parents of high-absence students routinely underestimate the number of days their children

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