As kids filed back onto Reed Union School District campuses last month to start the new school year, administrators and teachers had long been at work crafting lesson plans, identifying learning goals and honing strategies to engage students. But across the district’s three schools, the success of those well-laid plans is closely tied to something school officials often can’t control — whether students show up for class. During the 2018-2019 school year, 8.1 percent of the district’s students — some 110 kids — were deemed chronically absent by the state of California, meaning they missed at least 10 percent, or at least 18, of the school’s 180 instructional days. That’s up from a 6.5-percent rate of chronic absenteeism in 2017-2018, according to data reported by the school district.
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