Student Attendance Ranks Highest in 25 Years

Students in the Long Beach Unified School District have attained record high attendance, missing the fewest days of school last year in a quarter-century comparison. Record-breaking attendance rates were achieved by students here at all grade levels: elementary, middle and high school. The highest percentage of actual attendance, surprisingly, was at the middle school level. For decades, elementary schools have led the district with the highest attendance rates, increasing from 92.6 percent in 1980 to 95.7 percent last year. Middle schools’ actual attendance edged past elementary schools for the first time last year—increasing from 89.9 percent in 1980 to 96 percent in 2004—the greatest gain of all levels. High school students’ actual attendance grew from 91.3 percent in 1980 to 95.5 percent last year. After 1994-95, the first year of required districtwide K-8 school uniforms, actual attendance rates here have increased significantly. Prior to that year, attendance rates had fluctuated below the current high rates. The two high schools with student uniforms—Millikan and Wilson—also reported 96 percent actual attendance last year, above the districtwide rate for high schools.