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A closer look: How chronic absentee rates among Boston students break down by grade, race, and more

Teachers and students walked to the entrance of the Mattahunt Elementary school in Mattapan for the start of their day in December 2020.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

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Chronic absenteeism rates in Boston have risen sharply over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, with the most extreme increases occurring among students who are Black, Latino, English learners, or have a disability.

Across all students, the chronic absenteeism rate rose from 21 percent to 26 percent from the 2019-20 school year to 2020-21, according to new data from Boston Public Schools. At least 2,900 high school juniors and seniors were chronically absent from September through December — a rise of nearly 500 from pre-pandemic times.


Any student who misses more than 10 percent of classes unexcused is considered chronically absent.

Here’s how Boston’s chronic absenteeism rates break down by grade, disability status, race/ethnicity, and English learner status:

Naomi Martin can be reached at