April 7, 2023

Looking for an MTSS dashboard to support your attendance efforts? Here are 5 tips to guide your search.

Properly addressing chronic absenteeism challenges at the classroom, school, and district level requires a full understanding of the challenges at hand. And while there’s no shortage of data in today’s world of information overload, not all MTSS dashboards are created equal. If you’re considering a new platform to help you better understand attendance challenges, identify barriers to attendance, and allocate resources for effective action, we recommend reflecting on these five facets to help inform your search for a dashboard that supports your MTSS to the fullest. 

1. Is it easy to use?

Numerous data platforms on the market pull in a wide breadth of student data, including academics, behavior, attendance, and everything in between. Take time to carefully consider what your goals and priorities are and what tools you really need to address them. If you’re trying to address chronic absenteeism, spending a fortune on a dashboard that triangulates a dizzying amount of data points may be too much. While the allure of so many student details at your fingertips can certainly be compelling, the reality can look like an overwhelming dashboard where practitioners struggle to begin. Districts purchase myriad edtech products, but many are rarely used thanks to tedious onboarding, confusing interfaces, and lack of the information they need, when they need it.

2. Can you track attendance patterns & trends? 

We’ve all heard the cliche: work smarter, not harder. But what does that really mean, and how can we do it? When it comes to attendance, getting clear and fast insights on emerging patterns and trends can help you quickly implement interventions and campaigns to address these challenges. For example, research shows that students who miss a lot of days early in the year are often particularly at risk for worsening attendance as the year progresses. Can your attendance dashboard spot these types of patterns to help you deliver the right interventions to the students who need them the most? 

3. Can you log & view barriers to attendance? 

Getting to the root cause of attendance challenges is critical to meaningful improvement. As you search for the right dashboard for your district, be sure that it provides space and guidance for logging barriers to attendance that a student and their family may be experiencing. Plus, it should feature transparency that allows other team members to view the barriers that may have already been determined, so that they are as informed as possible in their outreach and in connecting students and families to the resources that can turn their attendance around. 

4. Does it help streamline family outreach? 

Strong attendance is closely correlated to strong family-school partnerships and communication, and your dashboard should reflect that. Is there visibility into family connections that have already been made so that you can reach out to families who may have not previously received communications? Whether it’s space to jot down notes from a home visit or call home that’s visible to other team members, or reporting from ongoing interventions that provides contact information or the resources requested, a platform that considers family engagement is a must.   

5. Can you create intervention groups, the way you want? 

A key component to MTSS is intentional interventions to support students at every tier. But since every student at every school is unique, your attendance dashboard should be equipped with intervention coordination and tracking tools that let you customize the details as you see fit. Can you filter students by not just the level of chronic absenteeism but also demographics and attendance patterns and trends? Can you set your own guardrails on the intervention? The ability to create the right intervention for your students is a crucial component of a successful dashboard. 

Looking for more resources and information on MTSS tools? Check out EveryDay Pro, the award-winning MTSS platform from EveryDay Labs! 

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