Chronic absenteeism is at an all-time high; in two-thirds of the nation’s schools, twenty percent or more of students are chronically absent. High quality student success systems extend early warning and MTSS systems by combining whole school prevention efforts with the effective use of holistic data, and family and community engagement to identify why a student is absent and what tailored strategy will address the root cause. A summary of recent studies shows that student success systems have generated positive results for students, and schools and districts, including reductions in chronic absenteeism rates.
The four components of student success systems bring together several key actions which collectively reduce chronic absenteeism. First, they focus on prevention by helping schools establish supportive relationships between students, school staff, and families, and fostering school connectedness among students, all of which have been shown to be powerful means to prevent chronic absenteeism. They then combine actionable holistic data with evidence-based strategic actions co-created with students and families, guided by student centered mindsets, to get the right supports to the right students at the right time to improve attendance.
Together, these student success system components empower schools and practitioners to both address school-wide attendance patterns and meet individual student needs.
The following are resources for addressing chronic absenteeism in schools:
- Use this interactive map to explore chronic absenteeism levels across the country, and find out how your district compares to others.
- Proven Strategies that Schools Can Use to Address Chronic Absenteeism: A core set of evidence-based practices that schools have successfully used to address chronic absenteeism, including strategies for fostering school connectedness.
- Six Actions Principals Can Take to Meet Student Needs in a Post-Pandemic World; Offers practical guidance on how student success systems can be implemented and used.
- School Connectedness and Student Success: Bob Balfanz, director of the Everyone Graduates Center, talks about what school connectedness is, why it matters, and how schools can increase it.
- Evidence-Based Attendance Improvement Strategies and Practices: Based on work done by the Everyone Graduates Center and City Year, as part of the Network for School Improvement, provides a series of evidence-based actions schools can take to improve attendance and reduce chronic absenteeism; organized under four areas of action: data, relationships, motivations, and problem solving.