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Tel:  651-266-3222
Fax: 651-266-3010

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RCA@co.ramsey.mn.us

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Attorney Logo Why Attendance Matters


Why Attendance Matters | School Attendance Laws | What Parents Can Do | Truancy Intervention Project | Family Truancy Intervention | Referral Procedures | Referral Forms | Contact Us

school study groupWhy does going to school matter so much?

Because school is a person's foundation for the future.

Education not only gives people basic skills they will need for all aspects of life, but it exposes them to a range of possibilities for their future. School helps students explore different ideas and activities, and helps them figure out what paths they want to take next.

And, in a very practical and immediate way, school helps students attain a better quality of life.  But it all starts with being in school.

A high school graduate will earn nearly $1 million more than a dropout in his or her lifetime. Compare these average incomes:

  • $18,734  high school drop-out
  • $27,915  high school graduate 
  • $51,206  college graduate

But it isn't just about making less money. Crime, unemployment, underemployment, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and risky sexual activity have all been linked to chronic absenteeism from school. Consider these facts:

  • 41% of inmates in our nation's state and federal prisons and local jails, have not completed high school or its equivalent.
  • High rates of truancy are linked to high daytime burglary rates and vandalism.
  • Problems with school have been found to be a risk factor for all juveniles, regardless of race or gender, to engage in weapons-related violence.
Why is skipping a day here or there a concern?

It is hard for a student to be fully prepared and fully engaged when he or she misses classes, even if it is just a couple. Missing school starts a downward cycle of a student being behind and potentially feeling discouraged in class.

A student between the ages of 12 and 16 who is absent three (3) or more days in a school year without lawful excuse is a "continuing truant" by state law.

Truancy is a major risk factor for dropping out of school and for delinquent behavior, including substance abuse, gang involvement, and criminal activity. These activities lead to more serious problems in adult life.

Graduation Statistics in Our Community
  • Minnesota's overall graduation rate is 79% with four out of five students receiving their high school diploma.
  • St. Paul's graduation rate in 2004 was 74%.
  • One out of four students in Ramsey County will drop out of high school.

Our community can't afford to lose one out of four students. We need them. And they need school. It all starts with showing up. On time. Everyday.

We can help!

Let us know how we can help you or a student you know get the education they deserve.
Call us at (651) 266-3065.