Leon County Schools Face Absenteeism Issue

Leon County Schools Face Absenteeism Issue

A recent speaker at the October 24th, 2023 Leon County School Board brought up the issue of student absenteeism.

The speaker explained that there are over 12,000 students in Leon County public schools who are missing weeks of school. Her recommendations to the Board were to examine how policy and practices affect student attendance, consider implementing a community wide campaign that raises awareness about chronic absence and to encourage schools to co-develop solutions with students and families.

Board Member Marcus Nicolas noted he was curious how chronic absence is defined and how it could affect academic achievement. Chair Alva Smith then incorporated attendance to be part of a workshop topic.

Tallahassee Reports looked into the claim and found that the Florida Department of Health publishes data from the Florida Department of Education on absenteeism.

Provided below is graph of the percentage of students that were absent more than 21 days from K-12 school for Leon County and the state of Florida.

Keep in mind that the Leon County school system has approximately 33,000 students.

The graph shows that in 2022 approximately 22.5% of LCS student missed more than 21 days of school. This translates to approximately 7,400 students.

The graph shows that the absenteeism rate shot up in Leon County in 2020, as in other school districts across Florida.

The graph also notes that LCS was following state trends from 2010 through 2017. However, after 2017, the absenteeism rate increased from 9% to just under 15% in 2020. During this period, the LCS rate of absenteeism passed the overall state levels.

11 Responses to "Leon County Schools Face Absenteeism Issue"

  1. give them a warning, and then enroll them in florida virtual flex. They can continue to stay home and learn on their own schedule. or not. Cheaper and florida virtual is a very good platform for those using it with intention. Kids and their parents will miss school for anything…not just illness. My ankle hurts, my hair isn’t done, I don’t have the hoodie I want to wear, I don’t want to sit in Ms.XXX’s class, I don’t like the lunch served, I have a nail appointment, etc. Parents allow this and guess what? Teachers make the same lame excuses for their own absences. OUR culture does not value education the same way it did in the past when the only option was brick and mortar school houses. Now that the internet is in play, people really don’t see what the big deal is about truancy. I vote with August on this one.

  2. Looks like some campaigns have released their hate-filled and ill-educated cubicle jockeys to wander about the net and troll.

  3. They are telling kids to get back to class 48 hours after testing positive for covid…. And they wonder why absence rates are so high? They are creating an environment that spreads the virus intentionally. I lost a week and a half of work because my kid brought home COVID from their Leon County school. When I got a call telling me the district policy was to have the kids back in class only 2 days after testing positive I was floored.

  4. Kids are learning; There are no repercussion. How is that going to help them keep keep a job in the future…unless ..their boss just doesn’t care they cannot rely on the person they are willing to pay?

  5. The issue is there are no more “attendance failures”
    In the past, students would fail the class if they had a certain number of unexcused absences. Now it doesn’t matter. Students can miss all they want and teachers have to let them make up work. Students and parents are not held responsible for being absent

  6. Maybe if more children were encouraged to mask up and stay home when there’s a reported surge of viral infections, my son wouldn’t have been repeatedly exposed and sickened to the point of missing school over and over again.

  7. Geez @ Bigwheel, you should look in the mirror and ask who is the fascist. Maybe you should change your handle to “Bugout” since you wanted to lock the school kids/adults up like CA. Our Governor made the right decision when science determined the virus impacted elderly and those w/compromised immune systems, but healthy kids and adults can carry on. Look at the impact the lockdown had on kids & adults nationwide. Good call TR in getting this data out, this is a crisis that 1/4 of kids have missed over 21 days +. I would like to know what steps can be done to get these kids back into a routine of going to school before it is too late and they drop out of society. The rest of Bigwheels statements are nonsense.

  8. It’s because the state education system has a fascist agenda and brought kids back to school during a deliberately unmitigated deadly pandemic. There’s no good reason reason to send kids to school if it’s a massive health hazard and all the school does is try to persuade kids that slavery was actually good. Ron DeSantis should look up what Hitler did with his Walther PPK and try it out for himself.

  9. They could fund a platoon of truant officers and a Truancy Court with all the money they are wasting on feel good projects like the CSC and the Council of Men and Boys.

    When I went to Fairview in the 70’s if you didn’t go to school, a truant officer would come to your house and tell your parents that if you kept on missing school the parents would go to jail. I never knew anyone that actually happened to, but I think that is the point.

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