An alarming number of students in Banks School District are frequently skipping school days, according to a recent study surveying truancy in schools across Oregon.
The findings, comprised of data collected by the Oregon Department of Education, show that 32 percent of students were chronically absent in 2009-10. That level of absenteeism decreases students' overall chances for academic success, according to ECO Northwest, which conducted the study.
This means that of the district's 1,190 students, 380 missed at least 10 percent of the school year, making Banks the second-worst of any metro school district behind Vernonia, which has a 34 percent rate of chronic absenteeism. The numbers also pin Banks with the fifth-highest rate of school absences in the state, the worst being Prospect School District in southern Oregon.
"I'm a little bit surprised at how high our numbers are," said district Superintendent Jim Foster. After all, the district's daily attendance rate is 91 percent, only slightly under the state average of 93.4.