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NBC News4: About 4 in 10 DC students are chronically truant, report says

December 4, 2023

A new report published by Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), shows that chronic truancy dropped in Washington, D.C., last school year compared to during the pandemic, but too many kids are still missing school. NBC News4 reporters highlighted that this is especially prevalent at D.C.’s high schools, where nearly half of kids are considered chronically truant.

Danielle Robinette, a policy attorney at Children’s Law Center who focuses on education issues, was asked to share thoughts on how DC schools can better tackle this trend:

“If we expect them to show up every day and commit themselves to the work of their K-12 education, we have to have school environments that are welcoming and supportive for those students,” said Danielle Robinette, a policy attorney with D.C.’s Children’s Law Center.

The OSSE report shows truancy hits hardest among economically disadvantaged families already facing significant challenges.

“You need this collaborative kind of multidisciplinary response to find out what needs of that particular child aren’t being met,” Robinette said.