At the request of the Redwood City 2020 Cabinet, the Gardner Center conducted an analysis to study truancy and chronic absenteeism among Redwood City students. Through the Youth Data Archive, researchers linked data from Redwood City School District, Sequoia Union High School District, and San Mateo County Human Services Agency. The data were used to examine the extent to which truancy and chronic absenteeism are present in the greater Redwood City area, and to explore the causes, consequences, and correlates of absenteeism that may be present in the community. Key findings from this analysis include: 1) Kindergarteners had the highest rates of chronic absence in the two school districts, which may point to the need for interventions targeted both at students entering school for the first time and their parents. 2) Students who were chronically absent were more likely to repeat their chronically absent behavior in subsequent grades, underscoring the importance of early intervention. 3) Missing school had a significant negative effect on California Standards Test (CST) percentiles in both math and English Language Arts (ELA) for students in grades 3 through 8; as well as on Grade Point Average (GPA) in high school students. 4) For students in grades 3 through 12, middle and higher achieving students are at greatest risk of academic decline due to chronic absence.
Sanchez, M. (2012). Truancy and Chronic Absence in Redwood City. Stanford, CA: John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities.