May 9, 2018
This letter is to inform you of some changes that have been implemented in Maine State law regarding chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism occurs when your child misses 10% of the days they are enrolled in school. In Bangor, for a student attending the entire school year, chronic absenteeism would be 17 days or an average of approximately two days a month! Another change is that chronic absenteeism is now based on total absences – both excused and unexcused. Students are also considered absent if they are not present for more than 50% of the day.
Please know your child(ren) will be identified as chronically absent at the state level, as the Bangor School Department is required to report all chronically absent students to the Maine Department of Education. If a child is also considered truant, then reports must be sent to the Department of Health and Human Services as well as to law enforcement. Parents are responsible for making sure their children attend school regularly.
Students who attend school every day tend to be the most successful students. Students who are chronically absent are less likely to be reading at grade level, have a higher rate of not graduating, and have lower levels of success in college and within the workforce. The Bangor School Department is committed to the success of all children and that means having your child(ren) at school every day!
Your help is greatly appreciated in ensuring your child reaches his/her greatest potential. If you are struggling to have your child(ren) attend school, please call the principal, social worker, or guidance counselor. Working together, we will find a solution to improve the situation.