Thursday was Challenge 5 Day for many area schools. This is the day schools were aiming to have all students in attendance with no one absent. It's part of the United Way and Arconic Foundation's Challenge 5 program asking students and parents to miss no more than five days of school throughout the entire year.

Challenge 5 day attendance was down a little bit compared to last year. Participating schools reached a 95.5 percent attendance rate Thursday, compared to 96.1 percent last year. By midday Thursday 2,053 students had not shown up for school in the participating districts. On an average day 4,500 kids are absent from class.

The teenager in me rolls my eyes a little at this. I mean who didn't fake sick to get a day off? Or  in high school participate in a ditch day? I think there were at least two or three times in grade school my doctor pretty much told my mom I should stay home for the week because of a wicked cold. I mean I came out ok, so what's the big deal.

Here's why it's a big deal. Students who miss more than nine days of school have lower test scores and grades. Students who miss more than eighteen school days are more likely to have to repeat a grade. Be expelled from a school before seventh grade. And are more likely to drop out of high school.

You can read more about the results of Challege 5 Day from the Quad City Times. You can also check out the Challenge 5 program from the United Way.


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