25% of students in S.F. Unified chronically absent in 2021-22
Almost a quarter of students in San Francisco Unified missed 18 or more school days in 2021-22, far higher than the national average for chronic absence, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Pacific Islander and Black students had the highest rates of absence. More than 60% of students in each group were chronically absent last year, underscoring the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on different student groups, according to the newspaper. Only 8% of Asian students and 13% of white students were chronically absent.
District-wide, chronic absenteeism nearly doubled from 2019-20, before the pandemic forced school campuses to close. The national average last year was 17%.
“We know the past few years navigating the impacts of the pandemic have been incredibly difficult for students and families,” Jenny Lam, president of the San Francisco Board of Education, told the Examiner. “Students missing significant time from school is an alarm — we need to understand the factors and how to provide students with supports and receive the care they need to learn and succeed.”