LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The Lee County School District is reporting that they're seeing 8,000 unexcused student absences a day from elementary to high school since the start of the school year.
The District's Attendance Coordinator, Tammy Scott, says this is double what they saw before the pandemic - where students averaged 4,000 unexcused absences a day.
The School District considers an absence as a student missing an entire school day.
Scott points to a number of reasons for the absences, including bus delays and sick days - but the biggest reason has to do with students attempting to do their schoolwork virtually despite schools being open, in person.
“There is a perception out there that that is a replacement for learning, and that’s not the case," says Scott.
“For us to be double or triple that number is a very concerning piece - especially since our schools are open right now," she adds.
Scott says that resources are available to families that need help getting their students to school, but it's now a requirement to be there in person, per the State Department of Education.
“The year of the pandemic when we had some hybrid things going on and some virtual learning options, that was an acceptable form - but that is no longer an acceptable form through the state. So like I said - face-to-face instruction, that’s really what we’re focused on right now," says Scott.
If you're a parent looking for more resources or assistance from the Lee County School District, you can find a link to their website by clicking here.