Nearly 1,670 students missed school Thursday in the Woodland Joint Unified School District, many in apparent support of the “Day Without Immigrants” national protest.
District spokeswoman Callie Lutz said administrators anticipated an increase in absences tied to the national protest against President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.
“We were monitoring it all day,” Lutz said. She estimated the 1,669 students who missed school represented about three times the normal number of absences.
That translates to 15.4 percent of the approximately 10,800 students enrolled at the district.
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“We are aware it was happening and we knew it was coming,” Lutz said. “Our community has a strong voice on some of these issues. So we knew we might be affected more than some other Sacramento communities.”
She said the absences in elementary schools reached 780 on Thursday. On Wednesday, 215 students missed classes.
In secondary schools, she said, about 300 to 315 students miss school. Thursday’s absenteeism was 889.
“Obviously throughout the year we want to encourage parents and families to send their kids to school,” she said.
In this case, she said, the absent students were affected by factors external to the district.
About 28 percent of the district’s students are classified as English learners, Lutz said.
Other districts reported less pronounced absences.
Maria Lopez, spokeswoman for the Sacramento City Unified School District, said average daily attendance Thursday dropped to 88.5 percent from 95.1 percent the previous day.
Lopez said it was unclear how many of the no-shows were observing the protest.
Similar reductions occurred in four Rancho Cordova schools in the Folsom Cordova Unified district with English learner populations ranging from 35 percent to 47 percent of enrollment.