Chronic Absence

Here's What Works: An Overview

Key Strategies to Combat Chronic Absence

There are four key strategies Community Schools use to support students and their families increase attendance. Learn more about the Community School strategy to combat chronic absence here.

Weekly Meetings

The Principal leads weekly Student Success Summit meetings with school staff and Success Mentors to review school-wide attendance data and track chronically absent students, diagnose absences, and determine the most strategic points of intervention (e.g. student, class, grade, school, or community), direct appropriate supports to the student or family, and progress monitor the initiative.

Organize Resources

The Community School principal and Community School Director's focus on attendance makes the biggest difference in combating chronic absenteeism by creating welcoming and supportive climate, offering programs that meet student needs, and a system for recognizing good and improved attendance.

Personalized Student Interventions

A school based or school linked caring adult or peer mentor provides one-on-one support, encouragement, and practical problem solving for chronically absent students. Success Mentors create positive relationships with the students and their families, respond to each absence, recognize even small improvements, and leverage these actions to unearth the root causes of the student's absenteeism. They then connect students with the appropriate supports.

Drawing on Community Partners

Schools host school and family events (e.g. Back to School Nights, Community Forum) to connect families and care-givers to vital community and youth services which help students attend school every day. Schools also use the support of local community partners to get the message out about the importance of attending school regularly and provide needed services to enable this.