Muscatine schools fighting truancy in Kindergarten among other grades

Skip to 47:40 to hear about absenteeism in the Muscatine Community School District.

MUSCATINE, Iowa — The Muscatine Community School District is cracking down on attendance in schools, especially kindergarten and transition grades.

A report by Assistant Superintendent Mike McGrory at the March 11 school board meeting detailed efforts to reduce truancy rates and improve attendance at schools. In his report, McGrory gave a surprising fact – kindergartners were among the most chronically absent from school.

“This might surprise the board,” McGrory said. “Kindergarten is one of our highest chronic absentee grades that we have… that is a-typical.”

The school board has been trying to do two things: improve attendance and reduce their chronic absentee rate. McGrory said a chronically absent student is a child who misses 18 or more days of school.

“You’d think most kids in kindergarten want to come to school,” McGrory said.

He said studies show that the more a kid is absent, the more it impacts how students perform. These statistics are directly related to drop-out rate.

“It really has to be a community effort, it can’t just be the school,” Mc Grory said.

He said the new preschool, which will start fall 2019, may help reduce these rates.

Related: Muscatine Community School District looks to consolidate preschools at Colorado Elementary

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