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Albuquerque Public Schools reports progress in reducing chronic absenteeism

Donny Harder Jr

Wednesday morning the White House hosted the ‘Every Day Counts Summit’. It heard from schools districts throughout the country about different strategies to address the growing problem of chronic absenteeism.

Albuquerque Public Schools participated in the summit and shared their strategy for addressing chronic absenteeism.

Chronic absenteeism is defined as missing 10% or more of days enrolled in school. During the pandemic, absenteeism nationwide reached about 31%. The Council for Economic Advisers says that accounted for up to 27% of test score declines in math and 45% in test scores in reading.

Mark Garcia, the Associate Superintendent of Leadership for APS said the district has created a student success system that prioritizes partnerships with community schools, attendance teams, and community voices to nurture culture.

"Improving student attendance is a collaborative effort. And I think that’s the biggest lever to look at what students are furthest away from opportunity, what students don’t feel connected to peers or adults on campus" said Garcia.

At the height of the pandemic APS during the 2021-22 school year saw almost 44% of students absent but so far this school year district reports that 28% of students were chronically absent.

This coverage is made possible by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and KUNM listeners.

Taylor is a reporter with our Poverty and Public Health project. She is a lover of books and a proud dog mom. She's been published in Albuquerque The Magazine several times and enjoys writing about politics and travel.
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  • New Mexico schools have been hit hard by chronic absenteeism with about 39% of our students missing 10% or more of school days. On the next Let’s Talk New Mexico, we’ll discuss resources available to address chronic absenteeism and the gaps still needing to be filled.