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Press Release - Chronic Absenteeism Announcement

On October 18, 2023, the California Department of Education (CDE) released the official 2022–2023 chronic absenteeism data for the state on DataQuest. Saugus Union School District (SUSD) is excited to announce that it is seeing a significant decrease (-2.1%) in its overall chronic attendance rate for the 2022–2023 school year (10.7% overall). This is compared to Los Angeles County’s chronic attendance rate of 26.9% and the state’s rate of 25.4%.

Chronic attendance is defined as students missing 10% or more of their total days enrolled. While ten percent of a 180-day school year is 18 days, students who are only enrolled in a district for 20 days and miss two or more days are also considered chronically absent in this data. Since the return to on-campus instruction, during the pandemic SUSD has had an emphasis on ensuring its students returned to the on-campus school learning experience. Like other districts across the valley, state, and nation, SUSD has struggled with returning to its historical chronic attendance rate of around 5%, but thanks to the efforts of the administration, office staff, teachers, and parents, we are seeing great improvements.

To address chronic attendance, our principals monitor students’ individual attendance weekly to ensure that students do not fall through the cracks. If there is an illness, family need, or individual challenge, the school works closely with the family to ensure the student can return to school as quickly as possible and that they receive instruction through independent study if possible. In addition, each school has incentive programs and community education programs that support positive student attendance. Whether it is winning Artie the Attendance Giraffe for the day in the classroom, getting a bit of extra recess time at the end of the week, or having their principal slimed for schoolwide improvement, our kids and the families are focused on getting our kids back to school where learning happens and where additional resources can be provided to the students.

We want to thank our families for their faith in our school district and for their trust in our programs and staff. We want our kids to thrive. Having them at school, where we can meet their basic needs (i.e., health, social-emotional, social skills, physical education, etc.) and their academic needs regularly is the key to ensuring we meet that goal. The pandemic, unfortunately, changed many things but thanks to everyone in the Saugus Union family we are returning to our normal.

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