Early Elementary Performance and Attendance in Baltimore City Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten looks at attendance in the early grades of elementary school. In particular, we focus on Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) and Kindergarten (K) and follow these young students over time, examining their pattern of chronic absence (CA) in PreK and K, and their later attendance and academic outcomes. We found that students with low attendance in both PreK and K often go on to continue to have low attendance. Also, they are more likely to be retained by grade 3 and have lower academic outcomes compared to their peers who attend school more regularly. The impact can be minimized, however, by improved attendance in later grades. This is important because it suggests that it’s never too late to improve attendance. An interesting finding in our report is that Head Start students began with and maintained high rates of attendance compared with comparable students. Unfortunately they underperformed in reading and math in Grades 1 and 2, but by Grade 3, they performed as well as their peers on the state assessment, the MSA.
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