More than 1 in 4. 28.4% to be exact.

That’s how many Maine students were chronically absent according to the Maine Department of Education’s most recent data.

A student is defined as chronically absent if they are absent 10% or more of the days enrolled. That’s just two days a month, on average. Absenteeism in Maine has been on the rise for the past several years, taking a big jump after the pandemic. In the 2017-18 school year, 16.5% of Maine students were reported as chronically absent, and now more work is being done to help ensure students return to classrooms.

How Educators Can Help

Establish a Positive Relationship

In addition to the “robo calls” the school makes to families when a student is absent, Count ME In data shows a call from a teacher asking about their child informing them they were absent, and telling them the child was missed at school can help encourage that child to return to the classroom.. These types of calls should occur after a child has missed 1 to 3 days of school and then again when the child has missed 4 to 6 days of school.

Family engagement is not a one-time event. Educators must engage in on-going conversations and partner with families to create solutions to ensure students attend school. To give a student a reason to attend school, work to know the chronically absent child better-ask families what makes their child smile or laugh and ask for advice on how to better engage their student.

Guide for Students who are Transient Created By Students

Students who move and change schools at least once during the school year frequently have high rates of absenteeism. Count ME In created checklists for educators to use to help transition these students into a new school. The checklists were created by students for students and are a guide to help assimilate a new student into a new school to help them feel connected and welcome each day, with the goal of getting students to attend each day.


Assess student and family needs

Understanding the barriers of what might keep a child out of school is also crucial. Take the time to learn if your students’ families need additional support outside of school. Refer families to appropriate resources, food pantries, social services, housing, etc. to ensure they receive what is necessary to help clear pathways for attendance. Additionally, work with school officials to help arrange transportation to and from school, if necessary.

Additional support on attendance issues can be found at