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  • Erica Peterson

18.3 Million Hours Missed

Calendar illustration with many missing days marked off.

Last week marked the fourth and final statewide attendance patterns and trend report presented by SI&A to the California Department of Education. This report provided an analysis of 350,000 statewide student enrollment cohort’s attendance during the 2020-21 school year.

The findings were consistent with previous and align with national trends: The most vulnerable students were often the hardest hit during the pandemic, and as a result, had the greatest increase in chronic absenteeism.

Key findings from the report included:

  • Black and brown students experienced a 50%+ rate of increase in chronic absenteeism, year over year in 2020-21 when compared to 2019-20.

  • Nearly half of the students classified as chronically absent were severely chronic, missing 35 or more days of school.

  • Using 6 hours of instructional time per day as a multiplier, the cohort missed a collective 18.3 million hours of learning time. (Chart below)

  • Schools that reopened in the spring for partial in-person instruction, aka hybrid instruction, actually experienced higher rates of absenteeism than when they were fully remote.

To move ahead successfully, districts will need to implement thoughtful, long-term plans with scaled strategies to shape and reinforce strong attendance behavior. Click here to review the entire report.

Chart showing missed learning time by grade as of June 2021 for grades K-12.

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