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Stay in the Game! Network commits to reducing chronic absenteeism, issues call to action

5/3/2021

The Stay in the Game! Network has committed to reducing Ohio’s chronic absenteeism rate by half over the next 10 years and issued a call to action for families, educators and community members to prioritize student attendance. The announcement came during a panel discussion at the Cleveland Power of Sport Summit featuring Dee Haslam, CEO of Haslam Sports Group; Paolo DeMaria, state superintendent of public instruction at the Ohio Department of Education; Lori Criss, director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; and Dave Hersh, director of Proving Ground at Harvard University. The summit is a communitywide initiative to support and maximize the community impact of the NFL draft in Cleveland.

A student who misses as few as two days of school a month is considered chronically absent. Ohio’s current rate of chronic absenteeism is 17 percent — or approximately 280,000 students. Over the next 10 years, the Stay in the Game! Network seeks to cut that rate in half — to 8.5 percent, or approximately 140,000 students. While this goal might seem ambitious, it is certainly worthwhile considering the risks associated with chronic absenteeism. Data show that chronically absent students in Ohio are 89 percent less likely to graduate on time from high school and 65 percent less likely to meet the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. Every day a student attends school is precious. Schools can find information about chronic absenteeism on the Ohio Department of Education website. Resources to answer the call to action and prioritize student attendance are on the Stay in the Game! website.