Natchez-Adams School District No.2 in chronic absenteeism in state

Published 1:13 am Wednesday, February 7, 2018


NATCHEZ — The Natchez-Adams School District had the second-highest percentage of chronic absenteeism in Mississippi during the 2016 school year.

The Mississippi Department of Education released its district- and school-level report this week on chronic absence data for 2016-2017.

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The chronic absenteeism rate is the number of students in a district who are persistently absent as a percentage of the number of students in a district overall.

A student is chronically absent if he or she misses more than 10 percent of school days.

Carey Wright, state superintendent of education, said evidence exists that chronic absenteeism has a negative impact on a student’s education.

“Children who are not in school are not learning,” Wright said.

On the district-level, the Natchez-Adams School District had 936 students chronically absent from school, approximately 25.55 percent of its 3,663 students in 2016.

Only Forrest County Agricultural High School, which is independent of a school district, has a higher rate of chronic absenteeism, with 26.43 percent.

In Forrest County Agricultural High School, however, only 628 students attend, meaning 166 students make up that high rate of absenteeism.

Natchez High School also had the sixth-highest chronic absentee rate, with 296 students regularly absent out of its 673 students enrolled — approximately 44 percent of the student body.

The school with the next highest absentee rate was the Natchez Freshman academy, with 73 of its 229 students absent more than 10 percent of the school year.

Morgantown Arts Academy had 81 chronic absentees, approximately 31 percent of its students, and Morgantown College Prep Academy followed close behind with 29 percent of its 294 students regularly absent.

Approximately 21 percent of Joseph L. Frazier Elementary and McLaurin Elementary School’s students were chronically absent, and Susie B. West Elementary School had an absentee rate of 19 percent.

Robert Lewis Magnet School had 48 chronically absentee students, approximately 16 percent.

The Natchez school with the lowest absentee rate was Natchez Early College Academy, which only had a 10-percent absentee rate.

Statewide, the school with the highest chronic absentee rate was 62 percent at Vicksburg High School.

Vicksburg High School led the absentee rate by approximately 15 points, with Jackson’s Wingfield High School rate at 47.5 percent.

The school with the lowest absentee rate was Picayune School District’s Early Head Start on Rosa Street, which reported a 0-percent chronic absentee rate.

The overall absentee rate for the Natchez-Adams district has climbed just half a percentage since the state first recorded chronic absenteeism in the 2013-2014 school year.

Statewide, the absenteeism rate is 14.15 percent, or approximately 70,000 of Mississippi’s 496,695 students enrolled in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade or GED course.

Department of Education data shows absentee rates vary across age groups, but generally begin climbing after the second grade.

Classroom absentee reaches its height in senior year, where approximately 31 percent of its 31,449 students in the state miss school regularly.