The Child and Youth Advocate is raising the alarm about chronic absenteeism in the province’s schools.
Jackie Lake Kavanagh issued a report on the issue. She says most troubling is the high number of children “disappearing off the radar” in the province’s schools.
She says conversations with school board officials show that children are absent for significant periods of time with no excuse or reason and no one seems to know why.
As well, it’s happening at lower and lower grade levels. She says those children are slipping out of the system and becoming disconnected.
She says when a young child becomes disconnected, they lose their relationship with their peers, they lose the opportunity to participate in school activities and functions and fall behind in the curriculum. Once disconnected, it becomes harder and harder to come back into the system.
Lake Kavanagh says something needs to happen to fix the problem.
She says the schools are not the only ones responsible for ensuring children are in class. She says oftentimes the reasons for absenteeism are not about the school itself; the other barriers the child is facing need to be addressed.
Read the full report at this link.