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State Mandates, School Policies and Practices: What Schools Say They Are Doing to Address Chronic Absenteeism

  • Author(s): Valencia, Tony Michael
  • Advisor(s): Hansen, Mark P.
  • Anderson, Katie M.
  • et al.
Abstract

School attendance and chronic absenteeism have been at the forefront of state and federal mandates. Students who attend school every day have better school and life outcomes. On the other hand, students who are chronically absent are more likely to experience poor school results (lower grades, not reading at grade level) and future negative outcomes (unlikely to graduate from high school and college, more likely to engage in risky behavior).

This study looked at what schools are doing to increase attendance and decrease chronic absenteeism. A mixed methods approach was used. A total of 17 individuals were interviewed and a survey was created based on responses. A survey was then completed by 47 district representatives that identified practices they were using to increase attendance and decrease chronic absenteeism.

The results of the interviews and surveys indicate the power of using a multi-tiered system of support to increase attendance and decrease chronic absenteeism. Those districts interviewed knew the needs of their schools and had proactive systems in place to increase attendance and decrease chronic absenteeism. Further, the study also identified common barriers that are making it difficult for students to attend school daily.

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