August 25, 2023

5 Reasons Why You Need a Data-Driven Approach to Attendance

We all know better attendance this school year is critical. Post-pandemic recovery will continue to lag if students aren’t present for the vital instruction, resources, and quality time with their teachers and peers.  

Student absenteeism can be driven by a variety of reasons, and on average, chronically absent students may be encountering 5+ barriers to attendance, including illness, transportation challenges, and family responsibilities. While there are numerous promising solutions for addressing absenteeism, a data-driven approach to your MTSS and overall attendance strategy is a must. 

There’s no shortage of data in today’s world of information overload, which is why it’s important to be mindful of what types of data you’re collecting and analyzing. Is it immediately actionable? Will it help you provide strategic support, or will it just add to the noise? Read on as we explore five ways that a smart data-driven approach will help supercharge your attendance efforts. 

1. Identify & address students who are at risk of chronic absenteeism 

Prevention is often the best cure. By closely monitoring attendance data, you can identify students who are at risk of chronic absenteeism early and act swiftly before more severe challenges emerge that require time- and work-intensive interventions. A universal Tier I attendance intervention such as EveryDay Intervention can be an excellent low-lift option, monitoring attendance data on your district’s behalf and sending informative and optimally timed mail & text nudges to families of students who are or at risk of becoming chronically absent.   

Conducting intentional data analysis is also essential for getting ahead of more severe challenges. You may have access to some of this data in your SIS, or a dedicated MTSS attendance platform like EveryDay Pro can make this incredibly simple, with the ability to track attendance data by grade level and student demographic groups and automatic flags of attendance patterns and trends. This information can then be used to develop targeted interventions to help students get back on track.

2. Get to the root cause of why students are missing school.

Whether it’s mental health, transportation, or chronic illness, understanding the full scope of barriers that are getting in the way of daily attendance will help you determine the right support needed. One way of collecting this data is surveying students and families to get their feedback on why they are missing school. EveryDay Intervention provides an easier way to do this, with the option to implement surveys on your behalf, along with weekly reporting on the district supports that families are requesting from the Family Support Bot. This data can shine a light on the common barriers that families are experiencing, and can inform targeted interventions that address the specific challenges that students are facing.

3. Create effective interventions informed by data & tailored to the specific needs of students.

Attendance improvement is not a one size fits all initiative, and not all students who miss school need the same intervention. An attendance platform like EveryDay Pro can help you create and implement targeted interventions aligned with your MTSS.  You can group students based on chronic absenteeism rates, grade, and/or demographic, and create a student intervention group with visibility across your entire team for more effective and efficient coordination. Looking for more strategies on creating data-driven Tier II & Tier III interventions? Check on these tips for more efficient Tier II interventions, and how to create a system for Tier III attendance conferences


4. Reflect on data to track the effectiveness of your interventions.

After all of the investments in both time and resources, we’ll want to know if our initiatives are actually working. You should periodically check in and view how attendance is trending, both at the student level and the school level. If you leverage EveryDay Intervention, you’ll be provided with various metrics, including how many students improved their attendance, improved from chronically to non-chronically absent, and improved their attendance tier. 

5. Make informed decisions about how to allocate resources to improve attendance.

With so many competing demands on districts and educators, ensuring that resources are put towards where they are most needed is essential. Informing your campaigns and initiatives with real time attendance data will help your team work smarter and more effectively. Analyzing attendance data for dip days, both at individual school and overall district levels, will help you plan strategic initiatives to prevent future days where attendance is particularly low. 

Some schools may have an easier time addressing attendance than others. Analyzing chronic absenteeism rates by school across the entire district will help you determine which schools may need some extra support, and which may have effective strategies to celebrate and share.  

A data-driven approach is essential for improving student attendance. By cutting through the noise and strategically analyzing the data that matters, schools can identify patterns and trends to get ahead of challenges, develop targeted interventions to turn, and wisely allocate their resources for maximum success. 

Looking for tools to help your data-driven approach to attendance? Check out EveryDay Intervention and EveryDay Pro

Getting students on track starts with attendance. We can help.