District Strategies to Reduce Student Absenteeism
Michael Gottfried | University of Pennsylvania
Lindsay Page | Brown University
Danielle Edwards | Brown University
Strategies to Consider
- Safe, reliable transportation to and from school and a safe school environment promote daily attendance.
- Providing detailed and timely information to parents about their child’s absences and positive messaging about school can improve attendance.
- Home visiting by nurses or teachers can provide greater insight into why children are absent and foster stronger relationships between families and schools.
- Students are more engaged—and more likely to attend school— when their schoolwork connects to their own identity and when they feel a sense of belonging at school.
- Addressing students’ and families’ morning barriers, routines, and engagement shows promising evidence of improving attendance.
- Attendance interventions that target physical health at school are particularly effective, and this is even more salient during COVID.
- Data systems that identify students for increased support based on attendance, behavior, and academic metrics can facilitate targeted efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism.
- School-based mentorship programs have been shown to improve attendance and academic outcomes for students at all grade levels.
- Partnering with other public agencies and community based organizations shows promise for comprehensively responding to complex challenges some students face to strong school attendance.
- For frequently absent students, absence intervention teams that holistically respond to causes of student truancy are more effective than strategies that punish students with suspension or expulsion.