MCPS unveils new attendance action plan to address rising absenteeism

Montgomery County Public Schools announced its new attendance action plan Tuesday.

The hope is to use data-driven strategies to reduce barriers that prevent kids from coming to school.

The plan will first look at trends with absenteeism – examining data that includes student body groups, days of the week, courses, teachers, and periods.

Each school will then create a plan using that data.


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"Attendance rates were gradually declining prior to 2020," said Damon Monteleone, MCPS' associate superintendent. "One of the lasting effects of the pandemic has been its impact on student attendance. Nationally data released from the 2021-2022 school year suggests that chronic absenteeism rates have at least doubled compared to those before the pandemic."

In Maryland, chronic absenteeism is defined as 18 days or more in a single school year. 

MCPS data shows that prior to the pandemic, 30,349 students were considered chronically absent – which was just under 20% of the overall population. But in 2023, those figures jumped to 42,863 students chronically absent – a 7 percent increase.

ROCKVILLE, MD- AUGUST 25: Faith Mejia (C) 4-years-old follows her mother Carolina Mejia (R) after getting her free backpack on Saturday, August 25th, 2012. Just behind Faith is Daniel Salazar (L) with his new backpack. Daniel is Faith's cousin. The c

MCPS will launch a system-wide attendance campaign, called "All Together Now," that will support students at multiple levels to increase attendance. 

Watch the school district's PSA below: