Equitable Attendance Policy Partnership

High school students talking in hallway

According to Attendance Works, children living in poverty, students from communities of color, and those with disabilities are more likely to be chronically absent from school. Research suggests that at least part of the inequitable attendance gap is driven by attendance policies themselves.

Support for this work was provided by the AIR Equity Initiative.

Most state attendance policies include seat time requirements that dictate how much time students should physically spend in school and truancy systems designed to enforce consequences for families and youth who have missed too many days of school. The Equitable Attendance Policy Partnership (EAPP) aims to support states interested in examining and improving attendance policies and approaches, particularly for students and families with lived experience of the truancy process.

About the Equitable Attendance Policy Partnership

The EAPP will work to harness principles of equitable evaluation to contribute to the attendance policy and implementation evidence base, while remaining grounded in the strengths and needs of the youth and family who have been most affected by existing attendance policy inequities.

The EAPP is a collaboration between AIR and the New Jersey Department of Education and partner districts, the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the Puget Sound Educational Service District.

The goal of the EAPP project team is to expand the evidence base on how attendance policies and their implementation can be used to increase equitable outcomes for youth.

The project team will work with each state to identify an aspect of attendance to pursue based on available data. After exploring the data, our work will include conducting a series of Plan-Do-Study-Act cycles to design, test, and refine more equitable approaches to attendance policy and policy implementation, informed by youth and families with lived experience.