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Uncovering America's methamphetamine history; PA Early Intervention programs vital for child development; measuring long-term impact of the O.J. Simpson trial on media literacy.

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President Biden's name could be left off the ballot in Alabama and Ohio, the Justice Dept. mandates background checks for gun show purchases, and Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds moves to allow state police to arrest undocumented migrants.

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Housing advocates fear rural low-income folks who live in aging USDA housing could be forced out, small towns are eligible for grants to enhance civic participation, and North Carolina's small and Black-owned farms are helped by new wind and solar revenues.

OR students miss significant number of school days

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Monday, December 11, 2023   

Oregon kids are missing a lot of school, and it could have consequences beyond their education.

Nearly 40% of students missed 16 or more days during the last school year, according to the Oregon Department of Education.

While the pandemic exacerbated it, Executive Director of the organization Attendance Works - Hedy Chang - said chronic absenteeism was a problem before COVID.

She said school plays many roles in kids' lives, which is why attendance is so important.

"Showing up to school regularly is so important for engaging with peers," said Chang. "It's where you connect with other kids as well as connecting with adults - so that you get re-engaged in the whole learning process, the joy of learning and being part of a school community."

Chang said to combat chronic absenteeism, we need to understand what causes it.

For instance, lack of health care or transportation can prevent kids from getting to school. They might also feel an aversion because they're bullied.

While chronic absenteeism is an issue in Oregon, Chang said there are positive cases - such as the Yoncalla School District, a small district south of Eugene.

"They've reduced them significantly, and that's partly through their family engagement, through their investment in supports, investment in providing access to resources on schools," said Chang. "So, you actually have bright spots in Oregon."

Chang said a great effort is needed to recover from the pandemic.

"We actually have to have an all-out messaging campaign and communications campaign about how much showing up to school matters for health and well being as well as learning," said Chang. "And we need an all hands on deck with our entire community. But I also think health providers are a really crucial part of that."




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