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Issue – Chronic Absenteeism –  Part 6

“Parents, schools and communities must work together to ensure that students understand the importance of making every school day count. The earlier that absences are identified and addressed, the more successful students will become."

— Carey M. Wright, Ed.D.
State Superintendent of Education for Mississippi

Schools, communities, and advocates across the nation have successfully taken steps to ensure children are attending school more regularly. What works is to take a data-driven, comprehensive approach that begins with engaging students and families as well as preventing absences from adding up before students fall behind academically. The key is using chronic absence data as a diagnostic tool to identify where prevention and early intervention are needed. With this data in hand, schools, families and community partners can together determine the causes of chronic absence, and implement approaches that address barriers to getting to class. Attendance Works has developed a set of key strategies for reducing chronic absence in school sites and key ingredients for systemic change that need to exist across a school district and broader communities. 

Every day a student is absent is a lost opportunity for learning. Too many absences not only can affect achievement for the absent student but also can disrupt learning for the entire class. Attendance Works suggests five basic steps to address and reduce chronic absence in schools.

Five Steps

  • Engage Students and Parents

  • Recognize Good and Improved Attendance

  • Monitor Attendance Data and Practices

  • Provide Personalized and Early Outreach

  • Develop Programmatic Responses to Barriers