Virtual National Convening, April 3rd and 4th, 2017

The US Department of Education launched the National Student Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center (NSAESC) to support nationwide implementation prevention strategies, cross-sector partnerships, and early warning systems (EWS) to prevent and address chronic absenteeism.

The center’s Virtual National Convening on April 3-4 will provide participants the opportunity to hear from national content experts on chronic absenteeism, EWS, and Success Mentors. Attendees will be able to ask questions about the use of chronic absenteeism as an indicator to measure school quality or school success in ESSA plans. Participants will have the chance to submit critical questions in advance. Register for the convening here. Please reach out to with questions.

The NSAESC is hosting several webinars to share practices around early warning systems and for the 30 My Brother’s Keepers cities. Register for the webinars here. Read more about the Convening and the Center’s four webinars on our blog.

Virtual Summit on December 7, 2016

The federal government sponsored a virtual summit focused on state and district implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and how to use chronic absence data. The Every Student, Every Day—No Matter What: Realizing the Power of Chronic Absence Data to Ensure Safe, Supportive Schools webinar was held on December 7, 2016.

  • Every public school student—no matter his or her race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, citizenship status, or other perceived difference—is entitled to attend a safe, supportive school that promotes daily attendance and ensures an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. In order to support state, district, school, and community leaders in delivering on this guarantee—no matter what—this virtual summit features leading practitioners, researchers, federal officials, and advocates from across the country who are leveraging chronic absence data to propel systems change that ensures high-quality, whole-child supports for all students. This summit focuses on state and district implementation of the federal (ESSA) and the opportunity to realize the power of chronic absence data to develop systems of support that improve student attendance and other important youth outcomes. It was co-sponsored by the US Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice, in partnership with Attendance Works, Healthy Schools Campaign, Trust for America’s Health, and Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University.
  • Download the presentation slides here.
  • Listen to the webinar recording here.

The federal government launched a cross-sector initiative aimed at helping states, school districts and communities address the root causes of chronic absenteeism. The Every Student, Every Day initiative will harness support from the White House and the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and Justice. The initiative is part of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative.

Civil Rights Data Collection for the 2013-14 School Year

For the first time, the CRDC collected student absenteeism rates from all public schools and school districts nationwide. The data show that 6.5 million students, or 13 percent of all students, were chronically absent from schools in 2013-14. Find out more about the CRDC data collection including a separate data story on chronic absenteeism in the U.S. by clicking here.

June 8-10, 2016 National Conference

To continue the momentum from the initiative, the US Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, and Justice hosted the Every Student, Every Day National Conference: Eliminating Chronic Absenteeism by Implementing and Strengthening Cross-Sector Systems of Support for All Students. Over 36 teams of states, school districts, early learning programs, and cross-sector system leaders gathered at the national conference on June 8-10 in Arlington, VA.

Nov. 12 E-Summit

As an early step in the initiative, The U.S. Department of Education, Attendance Works, Everybody Graduates Center and United Way Worldwide hosted Every Student, Every Day: A Virtual Summit on Addressing and Eliminating Chronic Absence on Nov. 12. Opening remarks came from Deputy Secretary of Education John King, who will assume the duties of Education Secretary when Arne Duncan resigns at the end of the year. The online summit outlined key steps that states, districts and communities can take to improve student achievement by monitoring and reducing chronic absence.

Two of the nation’s premiere experts on absenteeism –Johns Hopkins researcher Bob Balfanz and Attendance Works Director Hedy Chang – discussed the causes of and solutions to chronic absence. Leaders from New York City, Grand Rapids, Mich., and the state of Tennessee then spoke about their efforts to improve achievement by reducing absences. The e-summit was hosted by the United Way Worldwide.

Other Components

The federal initiative will include several components rolled out over the next few months. These include:

  • A public awareness campaign supported by a public-private partnership
  • A toolkit to support coordinated community action
  • Technical assistance and training for districts
  • Mentoring models developed through a public-private partnership
  • Release in Spring 2016 of chronic absence rates for most school districts, data collected for the first time by the Education Department
  • An in-person summit in Spring 2016 to highlight best practices.

Additional Resources