Rousmery Negrón and her 11-year-old son both observed a change when regular classes resumed following pandemic closures: the school appeared less friendly. She claimed that sanctions were more severe and that parents were no longer permitted to enter the building without an appointment. Everyone appeared to be more intolerant and enraged. Negrón’s son reported hearing a teacher make fun of his academic difficulties and give him a derogatory name. Her son no longer desired to attend school. She also didn’t think he was secure there.
Since schools resumed operations following the pandemic, absences among pupils have reached all-time highs across the nation. According to the most recent data available, more than 25% of students missed at least 10% of the 2021–22 academic year, making them chronically absent. Only 15% of students missed that many days of school prior to the outbreak.
According to the statistics, which was produced by education expert Thomas Dee of Stanford University in collaboration with The Associated Press, an estimated 6.5 million more students became chronically absent overall. The most thorough national accounting of absenteeism is provided by the statistics from 40 states and Washington, D.C. when combined. According to Dee’s data, absenteeism was more common among Latino, Black, and low-income kids.
Millions of Kids Miss School Weeks
The absences come on top of the time that pupils lost due to pandemic disruptions and school closings. They take valuable time away from the classroom as schools try to recover from severe learning setbacks. Students who aren’t in class miss out on everything the school has to offer, including food, counseling, and socialization. Ultimately, students who are chronically absent—missing 18 or more days a year, on average—are more likely to not learn to read and eventually drop out of school.
“Slowing down in school has disastrous long-term effects. Hedy Chang, executive director of Attendance Works, a nonprofit organization that deals with chronic absenteeism, said that the epidemic has unquestionably made matters worse for more students. From the 2018–19 school year, before the pandemic, to the 2021–22 school year, the rate of children who were chronically absent increased in seven states. Every state where data was available saw a noticeable worsening of absences. According to the analysis, state COVID rates and the development in chronic absenteeism were not significantly correlated.
Numerous factors, including lack of funds, unstable housing, illness, transportation problems, teacher shortages, bullying, and general feelings of undesired at school, contribute to children staying home from school. As a result of months spent at home, many parents and students no longer see the value in attending regularly. School connections have also suffered.
“For almost two years, we have been telling families that education can look different and that learning can occur outside of the typical 8 to 3 workday. Families were accustomed to that, according to Communities in Schools of Los Angeles’ Elmer Roldan. Who assists schools in keeping track of absent pupils.
Negrón was somewhat relieved that her two sons were back at home in Springfield when the school year ended in March 2020. Negrón, a native of Puerto Rico. Had come to believe that schools on the mainland of America were hazardous ever since the 2012 tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. She claimed that a year after the start of in-person training. Staff members put her son in a special education class. That is due to his hyperactive and disorganized behavior. He was uncomfortable and undesired. Negrón believed that there was no danger inside the school as well.