School absenteeism precursor to troubled times

May set off a string of undesirable events

The last couple for weeks may have had you thinking about pulling the kids out of school and heading south to get a break from it all.

But wait.

That time off, coupled with sick days and other absences could set off a complex chain of events.

A U.S. study found missing a lot of time in kindergarten leads to lower third-grade reading and math scores; poor attendance in primary grades leads to missing school in older grades and skipping school in adolescence is linked to drug and alcohol use, and the greater likelihood of unmployment or working in lower paying jobs

Chronic school absenteeism is described as missing 10 percent of the school year or around 20 days – an average of two days per month.

This absenteeism can be due to a variety of reasons, including:

  • learning disabilities
  • bullying
  • substance abuse

In these cases, parents are urged to step up and seek seek support from the school and health professionals.

In terms of controlling sick days, the report’s authors suggest increased hand washing and on-site medical services would help improve attendance.