5 Strategies for Identifying & Supporting Students At Risk of Chronic Absenteeism
Just like attaining a good bill of health, when it comes to mitigating chronic absenteeism, prevention can be the best cure. But how can busy educators get ahead of absenteeism challenges before they become even more severe and difficult to address? We have five strategies to incorporate into your efforts this year to help you ensure students receive the support and guidance they need to succeed.
1. Establish a Supportive School Culture
Nurturing a supportive and inclusive school culture where students want to be every day is essential for encouraging good attendance. Foster open lines of communication between students, teachers, parents, and administrators, so that everyone can feel comfortable about sharing their concerns around attendance and find solutions and resources that work. Regularly emphasizing in all school communications the importance of attending every day for social and academic success will help build that crucial culture of attendance that contributes to a positive school climate.
2. Track and Analyze Attendance Data
Regularly monitoring attendance data is a facet of identifying students at risk of chronic absenteeism. Utilize attendance tracking systems like EveryDay Pro to analyze attendance data and identify patterns and trends, such as particular days of the week or times of the year when absences are more common. This information can inform targeted interventions & initiatives that address chronic absenteeism.
3. Establish Early Warning Systems
Implementing early warning systems that promptly identify students who are at risk of chronic absenteeism can make an enormous difference in keeping students on track. By watching excused and unexcused absences, tardiness, and patterns of incomplete assignments, educators can intervene early to provide the necessary support.
A Tier I intervention like EveryDay Intervention monitors attendance, identifies at-risk students, and provides personalized nudges and connections to district resources to help families keep their students’ attendance on track. These systems all contribute to a culture of attendance in your district and provide opportunities to work collaboratively with families to address barriers to attendance.
4. Provide Individualized Support
Each student's circumstances are unique, and a one-size-fits-all approach may not always be effective. One-on-one conversations with students and families, whether it’s a phone call home, family-teacher conference, or home visit can all be effective ways to reach out and determine the best way to support the family. Implementing a barrier assessment to understand the underlying causes of their absenteeism, whether it’s health issues, transportation challenges, or family dynamics, will have you well on your way to providing the targeted support a student may need to improve their attendance.
5. Foster Community Partnerships
Engaging the wider community can significantly support efforts to combat chronic absenteeism. Partner with local organizations, social services, and community leaders to provide resources and support for at-risk students. Collaborate with healthcare providers to address medical issues that may impact attendance, or businesses who offer internships or job shadowing opportunities that can also motivate students to attend school regularly and prepare for future careers.
Chronic absenteeism can have a lasting impact on students' academic success and overall well-being. But by creating a supportive school culture, tracking attendance data, establishing early warning systems, providing individualized support, and fostering community partnerships, you’ll be well on your way in combating chronic absenteeism and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to thrive and reach their full potential.
Looking for more support in addressing chronic absenteeism? Take our district assessment to find the right solution for your district.