Chronic Absenteeism is when students miss 10% or more days of school. It may seem obvious that missing school often results in poor individual student performance. However, when it reaches high levels in a classroom or school, data now shows that all students may suffer, even those that are not chronically absent. This is because of the classroom disturbance that inevitably affects the teacher’s ability to engage all students and meet their learning needs.
Schools, teachers, and community members are now coming together to identify the root cause of chronic absenteeism. There are often a combination of school and socioeconomic factors, which are compounded by COVID and the rise in distance and hybrid learning environments. The resulting learning gaps are jarring, and now schools are scrambling to find solutions to correct the learning gaps and ensure students have access to the resources they need so they can flourish.
The first step in solving the problem is to analyze the data. With hundreds of data points available, data analysis and comprehension are now a key part of an educator’s job description. However, in today’s data-rich, knowledge-poor school environment, the biggest challenge of improving student attendance is to avoid incorrect root cause analysis. Therefore, getting the right tools in the hands of educators is key to solving chronic absenteeism, and only then will identifying and closing learning gaps for all students be successful.
After spending years working in data analytics, I realized there's a huge gap in the ability to use data in K-12 education. I've spent the past 12 years helping educate and grow a data-driven mindset in K-12, supporting the Ed-Fi vision of data standards and interoperability, and building an analytics product that supports this vision.