According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 13% of the 8th graders, 14% of the 10th graders, and 15% of the 12th graders were absent at least three days a month. Routine unexcused absences (truancies) can be signs of problems at home and/or school. Preventing truancies can help prevent other behaviors like dropping out of school or breaking the law.

Causes of Truancy

There are many factors that contribute to the risk for both school absenteeism and school dropout. Risk factors for absenteeism can be broken into seven main themes:

  • Physical and mental problems of the child 
  • Substance abuse
  • Behavior issues and referrals 
  • Problems at or with school 
  • Atmosphere of the school 
  • Parenting problems or difficulties 
  • Family structure problems 

Prevention of Truancy

Many of these issues can be proactively addressed by teachers, administrators, parents, and other adults in a child’s life. 

Underage drinking, vaping, marijuana use, and prescription drug abuse all negatively affect a student’s academic achievement and make up one of the higher risk factors for student absenteeism and dropout.

Students with behavior issues are also often pulled out of class for detention or suspension. This compounds their truancy issues. 

Negative school or class climate, feeling unsafe in school, lack of order or organization in the classroom, and experiencing harassment in school are also risk factors for student absenteeism. These elements can be addressed through education about cyberbullying, harassment, and building healthy self-esteem and relationships.

Download our guide called, “Addressing the Risk Factors of Truancy” to learn more about the risk factors of truancy and how to proactively address these issues.

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3rd Millennium Classrooms has been working with high schools for the last 20 years to help provide teachers and administrators with tools they can use to help students change behavior. We address underage drinking, drug use, vaping, and other risky behaviors. Learn more about how you can bring our proven, online courses to your campus in order to make a positive difference in the lives of your students at