Thursday, 16 May 2024 13:27

Saratoga School Data: Chronic Absenteeism Declining, Graduation Rates Steady, Enrollment Down

A slide from a presentation delivered at the May 9 Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education meeting shows a screenshot of ParentSquare, an automated notification system that allows parents to communicate directly with attendance clerks. A slide from a presentation delivered at the May 9 Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education meeting shows a screenshot of ParentSquare, an automated notification system that allows parents to communicate directly with attendance clerks.

SARATOGA SPRINGS — At the Saratoga Springs City School District’s Board of Education meeting on May 9, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lisa Cutting led a presentation that cited 2022-2023 data regarding the district’s chronic absenteeism, graduation rates, and enrollment numbers, among other figures.

Dr. Cutting discussed the data alongside Dr. Danielle Bouton-Wales, Director of K-12 Stem and Secondary Instruction; Dr. Michele Whitley, Director of K-12 Humanities and Elementary Instruction; and Mrs. Abigail Adams-Snell, Director of Assessment, Accountability and Improvement.

Chronic Absenteeism

Chronic absenteeism, defined by the New York State Education Department as students missing at least 10% of the school days for which they are enrolled, declined from 2021-2022 to 2022-2023, according to the data. 

After skyrocketing in 21-22 to 17.8%, or 660 students, chronic absenteeism rates among 1st through 8th graders declined to 15.5%, or 571 students, in 22-23, which is about 10% less than the state average. Similarly, 9th through 12th grades hit 28.1% (553 students) in 21-22, but then declined to 25.5% (505 students) in 22-23, which is about 5% below state average.

“For four years, I’ve been talking about chronic absenteeism,” said Board President Tony Krackeler. “It’s a topic that is very important to me. I want to give you congratulations on real progress in combating that. The numbers show it’s a big success story of this district.”

One change in dealing with absenteeism is the district’s use of ParentSquare, a service that sends automated absentee notifications and allows parents to communicate directly with attendance clerks.

Graduation Rates

Graduation rates have remained relatively consistent over the last few years, remaining in the range of 91.9% to 93.8%. These rates are notably higher than the New York State average of 86%.

Student Enrollment

K-12 enrollment decreased from nearly 6,000 in 21-22 to 5,798 in 23-24. When broken down by ethnicity, enrollment has remained relatively steady across all groups. But the district is seeing an increase in economically disadvantaged student enrollment, from 1,435 (or 24% of all students) in 21-22, to 1,687 (29%) in 23-24.

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