Chronic student absenteeism continues to be one of the biggest barriers to equal achievement among all student groups.
District administrators, community leaders, teachers, and parents across the country have long recognized student absenteeism’s damaging implications for student achievement, but recently the issue has become widespread enough to gain priority at the state level. Iowa created a Chronic Absenteeism Advisory Council as part of a statewide initiative to close the skills gap. In California, the state declared a “school attendance crisis” after a Department of Justice report found that 210,000 K-5 grade students missed 10 percent of the school year.
In fact, in June 2016, the U.S. Department of Education found that chronic absenteeism is widespread and prevalent among all student groups, regardless of geography, race and ethnicity, and grade level.
Raising student attendance rates is huge priority for school districts, but it poses a multi-faceted challenge. We’ve found that districts often turn to data to uncover attendance trends and to perception feedback to craft a strategy to reengage this population.
In this report we share how we helped one school district and its administration identify underlying factors that contribute to student absenteeism and incorporate successful strategies that other, peer districts have implemented.