Creating a Desire to be Present

Living in a world of privilege, disparities, entitlement, and mental health struggles, elementary students are more in need, now than ever, of the tools to feel empowered in their choice to consistently attend school.

What strategy can be used to create a desire for, and find value in, early education with elementary school-aged children to meaningfully support increased attendance?

Sub-Questions. What are the major deterrents causing student disengagement from school? Will the implementation of a project-based learning approach correlate with increased attendance?

In order to best answer this question, the research will focus on the factors influencing attendance throughout North America, specifically seeking Northwester Canadian causation. It will seek to find a potential solution encompassing the student, their family, and their school community based on successful approaches attempted in similar scenarios.

Defining Absenteeism

Superior North Catholic District School Board’s (SNCDSB) website quotes the Provincial School Attendance Counsellor (Ministry of Education) by defining ‘persistent absenteeism’ [also considered ‘chronic absenteeism’] as “any student who has missed 10% or more of school days for any reason, including unexcused or excused absences, over an academic year” (SNCDSB, n.d.).

Superior North Catholic District School Board (n.d.). 5 Things You Need to Know about School Attendance. Retrieved from http://www.sncdsb.on.ca/blog/5-things-you-must-know-about-school-attendance

Breaking it Down

The above definition calls for further clarification. For this research, an unexcused absence will be considered known by the parent or guardian but has not permitted it (*note: an unexcused absence can also be unknown by the parent or guardian, but given the age group and notification procedures in place, it will be assumed all are known). An excused absence will be considered one which the parent or guardian gives permission for or is the initiator of.

What strategy can be used to create a desire for, and find value in, early education with elementary school-aged children to meaningfully support increased attendance?

Sub-Questions. What are the major deterrents causing student disengagement from school? Will the implementation of a project-based learning approach correlate with increased attendance?

US Department of Education. (2018, April 10). The Importance of School Attendance [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEDQWgvJwHU