Local NewsEducation


Chronic absenteeism remains a major issue within the Clark County School District

Posted at 5:10 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 20:57:14-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Stemming the tide of students missing school.

The Clark County School District is still grappling with chronic absenteeism, an issue that got worse during the pandemic.

"Whenever I am bombarded with a lot of work, I'm like 'ugh, probably don't want to come,' but I kind of still push through," said Charity Kenyi

Kenyi had frustrating moments as a junior at Arbor View High School. Pandemic-related stress plays a big factor.

"If you're not mentally there, it might take you away from you wanting to come to school because there's not that goal or aspiration that's carrying you,” she said.

She has also noticed more of her classmates missing class. Kenyi says it's hard adjusting back to campus life after online classes. Household traumas also impacting mental health.

"People are losing family day to day, and that can be hard for them coming to school,” she said.

Statistics released by CCSD show the rate of chronic absenteeism to be at 39 percent this year, up from about 34 percent last year. That's more than double the rate two years ago when it was at just 18 percent as the pandemic set in.

Autumn Tampa, a teaching assistant at Ruby Thomas Elementary School believes COVID-19 infections have skewed the absentee numbers with students home sick from the virus, and she says the pandemic is still ongoing, still creating household strains.

"I've had children tell me from first, second and third grade 'I stayed home because my mom had to go to work and I had to take care of my baby brother or my baby sister,'” she said.

Tampa suggests the district should continue to work with state and county officials on providing services that address needs such as accessible childcare.

"How can we, as educators, as people working in a classroom or school with children, address what they're doing in the homes and what resources they do or don't have. We have absolutely no control over that,” she said.

Kenyi says that could give students the desire to come to school by easing those heavy burdens.

"I still have an education, and I have goals I want to reach. At the end of the day, my education is the first thing I'd like to prioritize,” she said.

The school district deferred comment on the issue saying CCSD trustees will be hearing a presentation at Thursday’s school board meeting.