This past July, School Chancellor Kaya Henderson submitted reports to Councilmember Mendelson detailing the student truancy rates among all DCPS schools in the District. Of the 40,634 students enrolled in DCPS, 3,103 (8%) students missed more than twenty-one days of school with unexcused absences. Truancy has been clearly identified as an early warning sign that students are headed for potential delinquent activity, social isolation, or educational failure via suspension, expulsion, or dropping out.
“Although it’s not true that all truants become criminals, most criminals have at some point been truant.”
— Phil Mendelson
Percentage of DCPS Students with
More than 21 Unexcused Absences
Data on unexcused absences accrued by minors ages 5-17 years old.
In SY11-12, 30,075 students of compulsory school age (5 – 17 years old) missed at least one day of school without a valid excuse. This represents 74% of the 40,634 compulsory age students enrolled at the end of the academic year. Among those, 4,893 students accumulated more than 15 unexcused absences categorizing them as chronically truant. DCPS’ district-wide truancy rate was 11% for the 2011-2012 School Year.