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MCPS Unveils Attendance Action Plan to Combat Chronic Absenteeism


During a press conference on Aug. 22, MCPS announced the launch of its Attendance Action Plan, "ALL TOGETHER Now: In School Together, Learning Together, Achieving Together." This multi-faceted initiative will address chronic absenteeism and promote consistent attendance among students across the district. By implementing data-driven strategies and fostering collaboration among stakeholders, MCPS aims to reduce barriers to school attendance and empower students and families.

Recognizing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student attendance, MCPS is also addressing culture and climate issues identified in the Antiracist System Audit, further emphasizing its commitment to equity and inclusion.

Key highlights of the Attendance Action Plan include:

  •       Data-Driven Foundation: MCPS will conduct a comprehensive analysis of school-based absenteeism data, examining student groups, days of the week, departments, courses, teachers and periods. This analysis will help identify root causes and develop targeted interventions to improve attendance.
  •       School-Based Data-Driven Planning and Monitoring: Each school will develop a customized attendance plan with specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound, inclusive and equitable goals. Regular attendance data review meetings will be held, subgroup attendance will be analyzed and individual students will be identified for additional support.
  •       Central Service Structures, Supports and Initiatives: MCPS will launch a systemwide attendance promotion campaign to raise awareness about the importance of regular school attendance. Additionally, designated members from various roles, including administrators, counselors, social workers, pupil personnel workers, parent community coordinators, school nurses and attendance secretaries, will collaborate to support students and families in improving attendance.

“We believe that every student deserves equal opportunities to succeed academically, and regular school attendance is an important factor in achieving that,” said Superintendent Dr. Monifa B. McKnight. “By implementing our multi-faceted approach, we aim to create a culture of attendance and engagement that supports the well-being and academic growth of all our students.”

MCPS acknowledges the significant role of's Attendance Playbook in informing the development of its plan. The playbook provides valuable insights and best practices to support MCPS' ongoing efforts to improve attendance rates.

To read the MCPS Attendance Action Plan, please visit this link.

Key Data Driving the Work

Chronic Absenteeism is defined as 18 or more days absent in a school year without permission (10%)

Chronic Absenteeism Data for the 2018-2019 and 2022-2023 School Years

  •       2018-2019 School Year - 30,349 students chronically absent (19.55%) 
  •       2022-2023 School Year – 42,863 students chronically absent (27%)

Chronic Absenteeism by Level


2018-2019 Percentage Chronically Absent in Total Population of Subgroup

2022-2023 Percentage Chronically Absent in Total Population of Subgroup

High School



Middle School



Elementary School (Excluding Pre-K)