Absenteeism is growing in Michigan schools

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Grand Blanc (WJRT) (12/13/17) Recent reports show the problem of classroom absenteeism is growing in Michigan. Nearly 16% of students are chronically absent.

Grand Blanc is Genesee County's largest school district with about 8,200 students. School administrators take absenteeism very seriously and respond pro-actively if they thinks a student is becoming chronically absent.

Throughout the district you'll see T-shirts and signs that read #SchoolEveryDay.

"Everyone suffers in a classroom when children are absent," Christy Knight, Grand Blanc Community Schools student services coordinator.

Grand Blanc administrators a couple of years ago noticed trends that many larger districts are facing, high absenteeism. In Detroit a report says more than half of students are chronically absent.

"The students should be in school every day and on time," said Knight.

Grand Blanc students are told every year what is expected of them. Efforts are made to get parents on board too.

"It is the parents responsibility but we want to come along beside them and support them in that effort," said Knight.

School officials realize children will be sick but other issues can sometimes make students reluctant to come to class.

"If there's an issue with anxiety or some type of relationship issue, we're trying to encourage communication with parents and teachers," Knight said.

In Grand Blanc students that attend school on time every day in September are entered into a drawing for prizes.

"We try to do everything we can do," said Knight.

If a student is absent twice a month, that's 18 times in a school year.
That's a lot of missed classroom time and it makes it hard to earn a passing grade.

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