How to Improve Your School’s Response to Chronic Absenteeism

This action planning tool from the GRAD Partnership includes guiding questions for school-based teams to use for understanding chronic absenteeism in their local context and strategizing for designing interventions to meet their specific needs. It also includes a Discovery Protocol to guide an optional team activity to foster insights and empathy. Use a printable version or an electronic fillable version.

Tips for using this resource:

  • Engage with a group. Consider inviting content teachers, ELL teacher, special education teacher and paraprofessional, front office support staff, nurse, dean, admin, counselor, social worker, students, family members, community partners.
  • Spend time. Plan for approximately 1-2 hours.
  • Be curious. Set aside the things you think you know, the arguments in which you feel entrenched, the assumptions you may hold and set a stage of discovery. Engage by asking questions, an openness to dive deeper, humility to be wrong, or at least incomplete, a commitment to a judgment free zone, and a mindset for growth.
  • Create a plan. Use these guiding questions to identify needs and next steps.
  • Take action. Implement your plan, monitor the results, and adapt as needed.
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