Using Chronic Absence Data to Improve Conditions for Learning

Hedy N. Chang, Attendance Works

Lauren Bauer, Attendance Works
Mara Schanfield
Jane Sundius, Attendance Works

Reducing chronic absence goes hand in hand with cultivating positive conditions for learning. When schools provide engaging, supportive, welcoming and culturally responsive environments, families are inclined to help their children get to school, and students are motivated to attend, even when there are hurdles to getting there. Likewise, when students attend class consistently, positive conditions for learning—from supportive relationships with teachers to substantive, meaningful educational experiences—are more likely to occur.

This brief discusses how education leaders, community partners and policymakers can use chronic absence data to address inequities and improve student outcomes. It encourages efforts aimed at strengthening conditions for learning to fully leverage increasingly available chronic absence data. It reminds those who implement attendance improvement initiatives to take into account the underlying conditions for learning.