Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - December 7, 2018 


Democrat Dan McCready takes back his concession in the still-undecided race for Congress in North Carolina. Also, on the Friday rundown: California moves to provide Medi-Cal for undocumented immigrants, and tighter immigration enforcement might make it harder to find a Christmas tree.

Daily Newscasts

Report: 64,000 NC School Children "Chronically Absent"

A new report encourages school systems to look for innovative ways to encourage school attendance, even for the youngest learners, including enlisting the help of community partners. (Twenty20)
A new report encourages school systems to look for innovative ways to encourage school attendance, even for the youngest learners, including enlisting the help of community partners. (Twenty20)
September 24, 2018

RALEIGH, N.C. – While North Carolina school systems work to make the most of limited funding, a new report highlights another vulnerability in education – not showing up for classes.

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation report says more than 64,000 public school students in Pre-K through third grade were listed as “chronically absent" in the 2015-2016 school year.

Mandy Ableidinger, the foundation’s policy and practice leader, explains why the research focuses on younger ages.

"It really matters for third-grade reading,” she states. “We know that third-grade reading influences kids' short-term academic outcomes and also, longer-term life outcomes. There are things that can be done to address chronic absence."

The report highlights school system practices that support attendance, from reward programs to partnerships with community groups. About half the school systems in the state participated in the survey.

The state and federal governments define chronic absence as missing 10 percent of the school year, for any reason.

Gov. Roy Cooper has declared September Attendance Awareness Month. Ableidinger says in dealing with the issue, it's important that school systems not shame parents when children miss excessive school days.

"We've learned that a really punitive approach of, 'I'm going to call in law enforcement if you don't get your kid to school,' is not effective,” she states. “But what's effective is celebrating positive attendance and giving people positive reinforcement. "

Ableidinger adds health and school environment issues like bullying are common contributors to absence. Nearly 1 in 8 young students in North Carolina misses about two school days a month.

Last year, the General Assembly passed a law encouraging districts to adopt student attendance recognition programs to help focus on the problem of chronic absence.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC