98 million school days. This is the number of school days lost each year in the United States to chronic absenteeism. According to the US Department of Education, 6.5 million students—one out of every seven—is chronically absent from school, defined as missing 10 percent or more of the year.
Chronic absenteeism is one of the strongest predictors of students falling off track for graduating high school, poorer social-emotional outcomes, and lower achievement in reading and math in earlier grade levels. Students from minority and underrepresented groups are at increased risk for chronic absenteeism: American Indian and Pacific Islander students are 65 percent more likely to be chronically absent, African-American students 36 percent more likely, and Hispanic students 11 percent more likely.
There are many strategies for getting kids to attend school regularly—from improved transportation to communication with families. But without data to understand trends and monitor student attendance, educators cannot effectively employ these strategies. It can also be difficult to aggregate, interpret, and take action on attendance data at the student, school, and district levels.
The Role of Data in Improving Attendance
There are many ways to define, measure, and analyze data about students’ attendance. For example, average daily attendance represents the overall percentage of students that are present in school. Chronic absenteeism rates capture the percentage of students that have missed a more extreme number of days.
These metrics can offer very different insights for school leaders. According to research from Attendance Works, an organization that promotes better attendance through policy and data, a school with 200 students can have 95 percent average attendance and still have one in every four students be chronically absent.
That's why school leaders today are using early warning systems and data analytics to monitor and improve student attendance. When working to improve attendance, you need insights that answer questions like:
- Which students have been chronically absent this year?
- Which students have missed several days in a row and are at-risk of falling behind?
- How do our average daily attendance patterns vary across student groups?
- Are we on track to hit our school or district’s goal for attendance this year?
CASE STUDY: Learn how Nye County School District (Nev.) used data to improve the attendance rate and get 16 more students to school every day.
5 Ways to Use Panorama to Address Chronic Absenteeism
Panorama Student Success provides educators with a complete view of student progress across attendance, academics, behavior, and social-emotional learning (SEL). With interactive attendance dashboards that refresh daily, Panorama offers clear “on track” and “at risk” indicators that educators can use to take data-informed actions.
Here's how Panorama Student Success can help your school or district improve attendance.
1. Quickly monitor school-level attendance trends and early warning indicators.
Teachers, interventionists, counselors, and administrators can easily log in to view school-level trends for the percentage of students that are “on track” and “at risk” of attendance issues. By refreshing your data on a daily basis, Panorama Student Success provides a near real-time view into a school’s attendance patterns.
2. Identify chronically absent students with a student roster view.
Educators can drill down to see which individual students face attendance issues and those that do not. Panorama Student Success analyzes each student’s recent attendance patterns in order to flag those who are at risk of chronic absenteeism.
The student roster view allows educators to understand an individual students’ attendance trends alongside other key indicators, including academics, behavior, and SEL.
3. Dive deeper with daily and course section attendance charts.
Understand a student's attendance patterns with calendars that show full-day absences, absences from specific courses, or tardies. See which classes a student misses most frequently—and their grades in those courses—to take action before they fall behind.
4. Track attendance patterns across student groups.
Panorama Student Success allows you to create and save groups of students based on demographic and other attributes. For example, you could save a group of ninth graders with English Language Learner status and "at-risk" or "critical" attendance to deliver specific interventions for those students.
5. Understand the “why” behind absences.
Get a wider picture on how each student’s attendance patterns compare to their progress in academics, behavior, and social-emotional learning. Quickly see each student’s early warning indicators across multiple measures to better understand why a student is facing challenges with attendance.
Interested in seeing Panorama's attendance dashboards in action? Get in touch with our team to schedule a demo.