Chronic absenteeism is associated with poorer academic performance and higher attrition in kindergarten to 12th grade schools. In prior research, students who were chronically absent generally had fewer employment opportunities and worse health after graduation. Harvard Chan School’s Healthy Buildings team examined the impact that environmental factors surrounding schools have on chronic absenteeism and published their findings in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.
The team estimated the greenness and air pollution near each public school in Massachusetts during the 2012-2013 academic year using satellite-based data. They then modeled chronic absenteeism rates in the same year, controlling for race and household income.
The team found that environmental impacts on absenteeism reinforce the need to protect green spaces and reduce air pollution around schools.
Impact of Particulate Matter Exposure and Surrounding “Greenness” on Chronic Absenteeism in Massachusetts Public Schools. Piers MacNaughton, Erika Eitland, Itay Kloog, Joel Schwartz, Joseph Allen. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2017 Feb 20;14(2). pii: E207. doi: 10.3390/ijerph14020207.