During the 2016-2017 schoolyear, 14 percent of students were absent more than 10 percent of the time or “chronically absent” for at least one day. The state’s first report of the data was in 2013-2014, when 15 percent were chronically absent. Mississippi’s chronic absenteism rate in kindergarten is 13.6 percent. It decreases in the early elementary years, and then increases through middle school and high school. According to the Education Department, the 12th grade has a 30.1 percent rate. According to Carey Wright, the State Superintendent of Education, chronic absenteism can have a negative effect on student achievement. Wright stated that school leaders should examine their data in order to identify students most at risk of chronic absenteism. “Schools, parents, and communities must work together to ensure that all children attend school regularly,” Wright said.