Students in the region are skipping class at a rate that is close to double the provincial average, according to a recent study.
Northwestern Ontario students skip class at a rate of 21.6 per cent. The Ontario average is 13 per cent. Students are considered persistently absent if they miss 10 per cent of their classes.
In the 2013 -2014 school year, students in the region had the highest rates of missing class in the province. The study indicates that the reasons for persistent absenteeism include illness, mental health issues, and poverty.
The study indicates that students who miss an average of two days per month in elementary school stand a 60 per cent chance of dropping out by Grade 9. Over time, students who miss a lot of school may also be at risk for aggressive behaviour, as well as substance abuse.
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