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Attendance Requirements and Goals

CPS expects students to attend school every day and arrive on time.

Why Attendance Matters

Students who attend school regularly feel more connected to their school community and are more engaged in the learning process. As a result, they are more likely to earn better grades and test scores, and they have greater chances of graduating and achieving postsecondary success.

It is important to start setting good attendance habits in the child's first year in school. Preschoolers who are chronically absent are likely to continue to be chronically absent as they get older in school.

From pre-K through high school, poor attendance can negatively affect students socially and emotionally:

  • They feel out of place
  • They fall behind in their work
  • They miss important opportunities that can inspire their future
  • They have a hard time working with others
  • They don't see how school is connected to their future success

Students who are chronically absent or truant are more likely to have low grades and test scores, and they are less likely to be on track for high school graduation. Each week of absence per semester in ninth grade lowers the likelihood of graduating by 25 percentage points.

Attendance Requirements

From age 6 until reaching age 17, a child who lives in Chicago must be enrolled and attend school. Once a child enrolls, even if they are younger than 6 or older than 17, they must go to school regularly.

CPS Attendance Goals

CPS has set ambitious but realistic district-wide attendance goals: 

  • For schools under 95%, increase attendance to 95%
  • Decrease the chronic truancy rate at the district, network, and school levels
  • Decrease the chronic absence rate at the district, network, and school levels