On April 4, 2024, our Deskside Briefing explored the pressing issue of school absenteeism among K-12 students in the United States. With National Public Radio recently reporting that over 14 million youth aren't attending school regularly, the urgency of addressing underlying mental health challenges contributing to nonattendance has never been clearer. Our community conversation brought together expert leaders who shared invaluable insights and practical strategies to combat chronic absenteeism and improve school attendance rates. Attendees had the chance to better understand the complexities surrounding nonattendance in children and teens and learn effective approaches to support them. 

Key Takeaways:

  1. Understanding the Issues: Attendees gained a comprehensive understanding of the multifaceted factors contributing to school nonattendance among children and teens.
  2. Practical Strategies: Expert panelists shared actionable strategies to address chronic absenteeism, emphasizing the importance of collaboration among treatment providers, families, schools, and community stakeholders.
  3. Expert Perspectives: Our esteemed panelists, including Meryl Heyliger, PhD., School Counselor, Georgetown Day School; Makeyda Soriano, NCC, Resource School Counselor, Montgomery Blair High School; Marissa Leslie, MD, Medical Director, Compass Health Center Maryland; and Erin VanLuven, LCSW-C, Vice President & Site Leader, Compass Health Center Maryland, provided firsthand insights into navigating school anxiety and refusal, highlighting the critical role of support systems in facilitating positive outcomes for youth. 

School Anxiety DSB (2)

Overall, the event underscored the significance of collective efforts in addressing the challenges of school absenteeism and fostering a supportive environment for children and teens to thrive academically and emotionally. We sincerely thank all panelists and attendees for their valuable contributions to this important conversation. Additionally, take a look at our brand new adolescent focused webpage

Watch the full Deskside Briefing below: