The Attendance Work Group is committed to using data and providing available resources to families in order to enhance the attendance, academic and social success of students so that they are reading proficient by 3rd grade.
National research indicates that students not reading proficiently by the end of 3rd grade are four times more likely than proficient readers to drop out of high school.This is concerning in the Fresno County area as 41.7% of 3rd graders in 2013 tested as proficient or above proficient in the STAR Language Arts test results. This equates to approximately 8,024 tested students who are not adequately prepared for academic success. The two largest school districts’ current year 3rd grade reading proficiency level (which is different than the STAR test) is approximately 30.43% of 3rd graders reading at a proficient level. Research also shows that a child who cannot read on grade‐level by the end of 3rd grade has little chance of catching up, and this problem is particularly relevant for children in low‐income families. In Fresno County, an estimated 39.6% of children ages 5‐17 live in poverty as of 2013, while in the largest school district a staggering 88% of all students are reported as coming from low income families.Finally, a recent report indicated that one in ten kindergarten and first grade students who come from low income families misses nearly a month of school every year.Although we do not have information on the entire county’s level of students missing more than 10% of school days in a year (excused and unexcused), we do have information from the largest district’s elementary schools. There are currently 5,814 students who were reported as chronically absent (missing at least 10% of school days or more) combined of the two largest districts (10.2%).