Chronic absenteeism is declining — but nearly 53K Idaho students are habitually absent

More than 52,000 Idaho students were consistently absent from school last year.

Still, the figure is an improvement — it’s about 12,000 fewer students than the year before. 

Chronic absenteeism also dropped in most of the state’s largest districts and in most student subgroups. 

But absenteeism levels are still not as low as they were in 2020-21, the first year the State Department of Education began tracking chronic absenteeism — which is defined as missing 10% or more school days. On average, most Idaho students attend about 160 days of school each year, so that equates to about 16 days or more of missed classes (more than three weeks).

To see the chronic absenteeism rate at your school or district, go here. You can also explore this data at 

And those days matter, according to the national nonprofit Attendance Works: “While chronic absence presents academic challenges for students not in class, when it reaches high levels in a classroom or school, all students may suffer because the resulting classroom churn hampers teachers’ ability to engage all students and meet their learning needs.” 

And habitual student absences are often indicative of deeper issues like health problems, lack of transportation, and food insecurity, according to Attendance Works.  

Read on for a look at chronic absenteeism rates statewide, by districts and charters, by large districts, and by student subgroups. 

Statewide Chronic Absenteeism

Year % of students chronically absent Number of students chronically absent
22-23 17.1 About 52,500
21-22 20.6 About 64,700
20-21 15.1 About 45,400

Highest absenteeism rates among nontraditional local education agencies/charters

Local Education Agency % of students chronically absent
Pinecrest Academy of Idaho >97%
Cardinal Academy Incorporated 83.3
Idaho STEM Academy 44.1
McCall Community Charter  39.5
Canyon-Owyhee Service Agency (COSSA) 35.2
Monticello Montessori Charter 34.2
Alturas Preparatory Academy 33.6
Sandpoint Charter 33.5
Peace Valley Charter 32.9
Project Impact Stem Academy 30.2

Highest absenteeism rates among traditional school districts

District % of students chronically absent
Council 53.9
Plummer-Worley 52
Wilder 44.9
Lapwai 39.4
Salmon River 35.2
Horseshoe Bend 32.9
Garden Valley 31.9
Caldwell  31.1
Salmon 31.1
Basin 30.6

Highest absenteeism rates among individual schools

Council Elementary, Council 86
Cardinal Academy 83.3
Canyon Springs High, Caldwell 80.2
Frank Church High, Boise 78.1
Central Academy High, West Ada 75
Fruitland Preparatory Academy 70
Empower Connections Academy 68.6
Lake Pend Oreille High, LPO  68
Meridian Academy, West Ada 65.5
Silver Creek High, Blaine County 64.7
Lincoln High, Bonneville 62.9

Absenteeism rates at the state’s largest traditional districts

Increases in chronic absenteeism from the prior year are marked in red, decreases in green. 

District 20-21: % of students chronically absent 21-22: % of students chronically absent 22-23: % of students chronically absent
Bonneville 13.8 19 16.9
West Ada 13.5 26 18.6
Twin Falls 19.4 25 19.7
Idaho Falls 18.7 20 19.8
Coeur d’Alene 13.3 14 22.2
Boise 18 30 23.7
Vallivue 32.1 34 23.6
Nampa 15.8 31 24.4
Pocatello 35 25 Unclear at this time

Absenteeism rates by student subgroups

Increases in chronic absenteeism from the prior year are marked in red, decreases in green. 

Student Group 20-21: % of students chronically absent 21-22: % of students chronically absent 22-23: % of students chronically absent
Native American or Alaskan Native 32.8 31 25.1
Black/African American 22.1 22 18.1
Asian 9.2 14 13
White 13 18 15.5
Hispanic or Latino 21.9 28 22.4
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 26.4 29 24.7
Multiracial 16.8 24 20.5
Students from low income families 22.3 29 22.3
Students learning English 22.4 29 23.6
Students with disabilities 22.9 30 25.2
Students in foster care 24.2 28 20.4
Students who are homeless 36.3 41 35
Students from military families 10.1 17 17.3
Students from migrant families 25.9 33 24.2

Idaho Education News data analyst Randy Schrader contributed to this report. 

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Reporter Carly Flandro works in EdNews’ East Idaho bureau. A former high school English teacher, she writes about teaching, learning, diversity, and equity. You can follow Flandro on Twitter @idahoedcarly and send her news tips at [email protected].

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