Empty classroom at Walnut Street Elementary on Wednesday, Apr. 3,...

Empty classroom at Walnut Street Elementary on Wednesday, Apr. 3, 2024 in Uniondale. Credit: Howard Schnapp

About one in five Long Island students were chronically absent last academic year, meaning tens of thousands of them missed more than 18 days of school, a Newsday analysis of state data has found.

The rate of chronic absenteeism has roughly doubled in Island schools since the start of the pandemic. Even as COVID has receded, attendance has not bounced back in many schools.

Across the Island in 2022-23, the Hempstead district had the highest rate of chronic absenteeism, 52%, in 2022-23. The William Floyd district was second at 47%.

Floral Park-Bellerose schools had the lowest rate, 3%, for districts with an enrollment higher than 100. Next lowest were Herricks and Great Neck — at 6% and 6.7%, respectively.

Despite the overall high absences, there were some promising trends in Island schools. More than half of the region’s 124 districts saw chronic absences decrease in 2022-23 from a year earlier, according to the Newsday analysis.

This searchable chart shows the chronic absenteeism rates for each of Long Island's public school districts in the last two academic years.

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