All Research

The reports on this page are listed alphabetically by author and examine the issue of chronic absence nationwide and in selected communities. Also, see the early educationelementary, secondary and health sections for reports listed chronologically. To submit new research, please contact us.

  • Absenteeism and GPA:  Exploring the top indicators of career and college readiness, Attendance Institute and the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research (CCSR), November 18, 2014. Elaine Allensworth, PhD, and the Lewis-Sebring Director of CCSR shares highlights from three important reports:  1. Absenteeism from Preschool to High School, 2. Looking Forward to High School and College: Middle Grade Indicators of Readiness in Chicago Public Schools, and 3. Free to Fail or On Track to College.  CCSR discusses absenteeism at all grade levels as well as which school indicators connect to success in the middle grades, high school as well as career and college.
  • Adams, Gina and Lisa Dubay, Exploring Instability and Children’s Well-Being: Insights from a Dialogue among Practitioners, Policymakers and Researchers, Urban Institute, July 2014. Researchers with the Urban Institute’s Kids in Context Initiative take a comprehensive look at the issues of stability and instability in children’s lives to identify strategies to better support children’s ability to learn and succeed. This report presents insights gleaned from one phase of this effort, specifically a convening of a distinguished group of 35 policymakers, practitioners, researchers, thought leaders, and funders to begin a dialogue about stability and its role in children’s development.
  • Adams, Gina, Insights on Instability and Children’s Development: Commentaries from Practitioners, Policymakers, and Researchers, Urban Institute, July 2014. This series of commentary pieces is a companion to the report “Exploring Instability and Children’s Well-Being”. The contributors share their insights and takeaway messages from a Fall 2013 Urban Institute convening to discuss growing concerns about instability in children’s lives and its impact on their healthy development.  These essays are meant to part of longer-term discussion, and to help identify steps we can each take to provide more stability and security to families and children.
  • Allensworth, Elaine M. et al., Looking Forward to High School and College:  Middle Grade Indicators of Readiness in Chicago Public Schools, University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research, November 2014. CCSR has already produced powerful research showing the effects of poor attendance as early as preschool and on the success of efforts to improve achievement and attendance in ninth grade. The middle school report tracks about 20,000 Chicago Public Schools students  from elementary to high school. Researchers found that students who improve their attendance during the middle grade years have better outcomes in high school than those who simply improve their test scores, even when the students start out at the same level. The report concludes that middle schools should invest in strategies to improve attendance.
  • Allensworth, E. M., & Easton, J. Q., What Matters for Staying On-track and Graduating in Chicago Public High Schools: A Close Look at Course Grades, Failures, and Attendance in the Freshman Year, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research, 2007. In this study of the freshman year of high school, researchers found that attendance in this pivotal transition year was a key indicator of whether students would finish high school. A high rate of absenteeism, described as missing 10 percent or more of the school year, was identified as a key warning sign for freshmen. The study also found attendance and studying more predictive of dropout than test scores or other student characteristics. In fact 9th grade attendance was a better predictor of dropout than 8th grade test scores.
  • Attendance in the Early Grades: Why it Matters for Reading, Attendance Works and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, February 2014.  This brief summarizes a growing body of research which documents how many youngsters are chronically absent, meaning they miss 10 percent or more of the school year due to excused or unexcused absences. The research also shows how these missed days, as early as preschool, translate into weaker reading skills and makes a clear case for engaging families to reduce chronic absenteeism.
  • Attendance in Early Elementary Grades: Association with Student Characteristics, School Readiness and Third Grade Outcomes, Applied Survey Research. May 2011. A study commissioned by Attendance Works suggests that attendance in the early grades is critical to sustaining the school readiness skills that preschool or Head Start programs can help children to develop. The report found that students who arrived at school academically ready to learn— but then missed 10 percent of their kindergarten and first grade years—scored , on average, 60 points below similar students with good attendance on third-grade reading tests.
  • Balfanz, Robert and Vaughan Byrnes, Meeting the Challenge of Combating Chronic Absenteeism: Impact of the NYC Mayor’s Interagency Task Force on Chronic Absenteeism and School Attendance and Its Implications for Other Cities, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, November 2013. This report examines the impact of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s task force on truancy, chronic absenteeism and school engagement, a program that spanned 2010 to 2013 and reached more than 60,000 students in NYC public schools. The study found that students who missed at least 20 days of school per year — the definition of chronic absenteeism — had lower grades and were more likely to drop out than students with better attendance. Yet, the researchers also found these effects of absenteeism are reversible with the help of mentors, incentive programs, and awareness campaigns. Additional information can be found in the report’s Technical Appendix.
  • Balfanz, Robert, and Vaughan Byrnes, The Importance of Being in School: A Report on Absenteeism in the Nation’s Public Schools. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools. May 2012. Researchers evaluated chronic absence data from six states—Georgia, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon and Rhode Island—to assess trends and predict the size of the nation’s attendance challenge. A national rate of 10 percent chronic absenteeism seems conservative and it could be as high as 15 percent, meaning that 5 million to 7.5 million students are chronically absent. The six states reported chronic absenteeism rates from 6 percent to 23 percent, with high poverty urban areas reporting up to one-third of students chronically absent and rural areas showing one in four students.
  • Balfanz, Robert, Lisa Herzog and Douglas J. MacIver.Preventing Student Disengagement and Keeping Students on the Graduation Path in Urban Middle-Grades Schools: Early Identification and Effective Interventions, Educational Psychologist, 42(4), 223–235 Copyright 2007, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.In this study of the freshman year of high school, researchers found that attendance in this pivotal transition year was a key indicator of whether students would finish high school. A high rate of absenteeism, described as missing 10 percent or more of the school year, was identified as a key warning sign for freshmen. The study also found attendance and studying more predictive of dropout than test scores or other student characteristics.
  • Basch, Charles.Healthier Students Are Better Learners: A Missing Link in Efforts to Close the Achievement Gap, March 9, 2010. Equity in Education Forum Series, Spring 2010, Teachers College, Columbia University. This report concludes that “six educationally relevant disparities”—vision problems, asthma, teen pregnancy, aggression and violence, physical inactivity, poor nutrition, and concentration problems—have negative academic outcomes for minority students in urban settings. “Compared with children without the condition, some studies have also found, children with asthma tend to have more problems with concentration and memory, to have their sleep disrupted, and to miss more days of school. One 2003 estimate, in fact, blamed the disorder for 12.8 million school absences across the country that year.”
  • Branham, David, The Wise Man Builds His House Upon the Rock: The Effects of Inadequate Building Infrastructure on Student Attendance, Social Science Quarterly, vol. 85, no. 5, December 2004. This article looks at the effects of school infrastructure on student attendance and drop-out rates by analyzing 226 schools in Houston. The data in this study provides evidence that students are less likely to attend schools that need structural repairs, use temporary structures, and understaffed janitorial services. In order to maximize attendance and minimize drop-out rates, school districts should avoid temporary solutions and provide students, teachers, and administrators with quality permanent structure schools, and quality janitorial staffs to maintain those schools.
  • Bruner, Charles, Anne Discher and Hedy Chang, Chronic Elementary Absenteeism: A Problem Hidden in Plain Sight, Child and Family Policy Center and Attendance Works, November 2011.This study confirms the premise that districts and schools may fail to detect high levels of chronic absence because the problem is easily masked by average daily attendance, one of the most commonly calculated attendance measures. While many educators assume a 95 percent ADA rate is an indicator of good attendance, our research found that is often not the case.
  • Buehler, Melanie Hart, Tapogna, John, and Chang, Hedy, Why Being in School Matters: Chronic Absenteeism in Oregon Public Schools, Attendance Works, June 2012. Although many states collect data on attendance in their longitudinal student data bases, the majority fail to make effective use of this data to analyze how many and which students are chronically absent.  Demonstrating the value of such an analysis, ECONorthwest used data from the state’s Department of Education to determine that 23 percent of students K-12 in Oregon were chronically absent in 2009-10, with low-income students at the highest risk of missing significant amounts of school. Attendance problems in the early years predicted absenteeism in later grades, and students with the highest absenteeism typically scored lower on state assessments.  This research also showed that poor attendance is a solvable problem by identifying schools that beat the odds by maintaining lower than expected chronic absence rates despite serving high risk populations.
  • Chang, Hedy; Romero, Mariajose, Present, Engaged and Accounted For: The Critical Importance of Addressing Chronic Absence in the Early Grades, National Center for Children in Poverty: NY: NY, September 2008.This report documents the consequences, prevalence, potential causes and possible solutions to children missing extended periods of school in grades K-3rd. Although students must be present and engaged to learn, thousands of this country’s youngest students are academically at-risk because of extended absences when they first embark upon their school careers. Nationally, an estimated one in 10 kindergarten and first grade students are chronically absent (i.e. miss nearly a month or more of school over the course of a year). Absenteeism in the early grades can reach even higher levels in particular schools and districts. The good news is that chronic early absence can be significantly reduced when schools, communities and families join together to monitor and promote attendance, as well as to identify and address the factors that prevent young students from attending school every day.
  • Christenson, S. L., Hurley, C. M., Hirsch, J. A., Kau, M., Evelo, D., & Bates, W.  Check and Connect: The role of monitors in supporting high-risk youth. Reaching Today’s Youth: The Community Circle of Caring Journal, 2, 18–21. 1997. During seven years of experience with federally funded intervention projects for high-risk youth, Check and Connect has developed a system of support that helps even the most challenging young people meet school standards. In work with secondary level students with emotional and learning disabilities, the aim was to increase school engagement and graduation rates for students at highest risk for school dropout. The system of support developed to meet these goals is a monitoring procedure referred to as “Check and Connect” facilitated by a category of professionals we call “monitors.”
  • Chronic Absence in the Sacramento Unified School District, University of California, Davis, Center for Regional Change, 2012.  The UC Davis Center for Regional change conducted an assessment of chronic absence in the Sacramento Unified School District, describing prevalence, costs, characteristics of chronically absent students, barriers to attendance, and building partnerships that eliminate barriers to attendance.
  • Chronic Absence in Utah Public Schools , Utah Education Policy Center at the University of Utah,  July 2012. This research brief highlights important findings on chronic absence and its effects in Utah. The study, a 5-year project, emphasizes the need for early identification of students who are chronically absent and identified chronic absenteeism as a key predictor of dropouts as early as the eighth grade.
  • The Condition of Education for Members of Oregon’s Indian Tribes, ECONorthwest, February 2014. The Spirit Mountain Community Fund and the Chalkboard Project commissioned ECONorthwest to assess the condition of education for seven of Oregon’s federally-recognized tribes. The study’s goal is to assist tribal leaders, educators, and policymakers as they develop strategies to accelerate achievement gains and boost high school and postsecondary graduation rates.  The data show that one-third of Oregon tribe-enrolled students were chronically absent in 2011-12, compared to 19 percent of all other students. Rates are highest at the high school level, with 43 percent of Oregon tribe-enrolled students chronically absent. Achievement gaps in reading and math are also evident beginning in 3rd grade and remain relatively constant thereafter.
  • Connolly, Faith and Olson, Linda S., Early Elementary Performance and Attendance in Baltimore City Schools’ Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, Baltimore, MD, March 2012.  The brief looks at attendance in the early grades of elementary school. In particular, we focus on Pre-Kindergarten (PreK) and Kindergarten (K) and follow these young students over time, examining their pattern of chronic absence (CA) in PreK and K, and their later attendance and academic outcomes. Students with low attendance in both PreK and K often go on to continue to have low attendance. Also, they are more likely to be retained by grade 3 and have lower academic outcomes compared to their peers who attend school more regularly.
  • Destination Graduation: Sixth Grade Early Warning Indicators for Baltimore City Schools, Their Prevalence and Impact, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, Baltimore, Md. February 2011.This report examines data from the Baltimore City Public Schools to identify statistically significant, highly predictive Early Warning Indicators of non-graduation outcomes, i.e., dropout. The concentration of Early Warning Indicators identified in the report–including chronic absence, past retentions, suspensions, course failure in English and/or math–is presented for a recent cohort of Baltimore sixth graders to describe the current level of need in City Schools. Policy makers and practitioners can use this report to determine whether Early Warning Indicators might be used for targeted interventions and educational supports.
  • Durham, Rachel and Plank, Stephen B.Maintaining High Achievement in Baltimore: An Overview of the Elementary School Trajectories of Four Recent City Schools First Grade Cohorts, Baltimore Educational Research Consortium, March 2010.The results from this study of four elementary schools show increased academic achievement and reduced chronic absence. It suggests that many recent reform efforts–among them improved development conditions from birth to age 5, universal PreK, reduced class sizes in the early grades and standardized curricula–are succeeding in keeping Baltimore students on track for success in the middle grades and beyond.
  • Ehrlich Stacy B. et al. Preschool Attendance in Chicago Public Schools: Relationships with Learning Outcomes and Reasons for Absences, University of Chicago, Consortium on Chicago School Research, May 2014. This report highlights the critical importance of consistent preschool attendance. Students who attend preschool regularly are significantly more likely than chronically absent preschoolers to be ready for kindergarten and to attend school regularly in later grades, the report finds. The study, which follows 25,000 three- and four-year-olds served by Chicago Public Schools (CPS) school-based preschool programs, finds that chronic absenteeism is rampant among preschoolers in Chicago. In 2011-2012, almost half of 3-year-olds and more than one-third of 4-year-olds missed at least 10 percent of the school year.
  • Epstein, J. L. & Sheldon, S. B.Present and Accounted For: Improving Student Attendance Through Family and Community Involvement., Journal of Educational Research, 95, 308-318. 2002. This study discusses the results of an analysis of longitudinal data collected on schools’ rates of daily student attendance and chronic absenteeism and on specific partnership practices that were implemented to help increase or sustain student attendance. The data suggest that schools may be able to increase student attendance in elementary school by implementing specific family and community involvement activities.
  • Feldman, Alison et al. A Closer Look at Attendance of African American Males in OUSD, Urban Strategies Council.  Oakland, Calif. May 2012. This report examines data, best practices, and policies related to attendance and chronic absence and offers recommendations for reducing the levels of chronic absence for African American boys in the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD.) The report analyzes one year of attendance data (2010-2011) for African American males and finds that they were almost twice as likely as general OUSD population, and more than three times as likely as White boys, to be chronically absent. The report also examined and analyzed reasons for attendance disparities and made recommendations for addressing them from a survey of research literature and a review of state and local policy.
  • Fredricks, Jennifer A., Phyllis C. Blumenfeld, and Alison H. Paris.School Engagement: Potential of the Concept, State of the Evidence, Review of Educational Research, Spring 2004; vol. 74, 1: pp. 59-109. This article reviews definitions, measures, precursors, and outcomes of engagement; discusses limitations in the existing research; and suggests improvements. The authors conclude that, although much has been learned, the potential contribution of the concept of school engagement to research on student experience has yet to be realized. They call for richer characterizations of how students behave, feel, and think—research that could aid in the development of finely tuned interventions.
  • Freedberg, Louis and Lisa Chavez, Understanding School Discipline in California: Perceptions and Practice, EdSource, September 10, 2012. Concerns have grown in recent years about the effects of discipline policies on schools and students, and especially their disproportionate impact on African American and Latino students. Attempts to reform these policies in order to keep students in school whenever possible and lead to more positive outcomes have gained momentum. Yet little is known about how discipline policies are actually being implemented in California. To find out, EdSource conducted a survey of school administrators from 315 districts, who say the greatest need is for counselors and other support staff to address discipline problems.
  • From Absent to Present:  Reducing Teen Chronic Absenteeism in New York City. Youth Justice Board, Center for Court Innovation, June 2013. Why do 40 percent of New York City high school students miss a month of school each year? The Center for Court Innovation went directly to the source and asked 17 high school students serving on its Youth Justice Board to research the issue. After a year of research that included meeting with student focus groups, teachers, parents, and policy makers, the students made ten recommendations to Chancellor Dennis Walcott on how to reduce chronic absenteeism. Suggestions ranged from taking a closer look at school security to providing peer mentors to students who are frequently absent.
  • Geier, Andrew B. et al. The relationship between relative weight and school attendance. Obesity, Vol. 15 No. 8. August, 2007. This study examined the association between relative weight and absenteeism in 1,069 fourth to sixth graders from nine public schools in an urban area. The researchers found that obese children were absent significantly more than the normal weight children.  Several possible reasons for lower attendance are social difficulties and behavior problems, as well as medical conditions, such as asthma, associated with obesity.
  • Ginsburg, Alan, Time for Learning: States and Districts. An Exploratory Analysis of NAEP Data, prepared for the National Assessment Governing Board, February 2013.  This report is part of an ongoing project to use the data generated by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (dubbed the “Nation’s Report Card”) to provide more context for student performance.  Mr. Ginsburg’s analysis adds to growing evidence that student absenteeism can hamstring a district’s performance on the NAEP.  In large urban districts, 8th-grade students who missed three or more days in the previous month of school had an average mathematics score of 260 on the 2011 NAEP, 21 points lower than those who missed no school. In some districts, the gap was even wider: 25 points in New York City, 24 in Chicago and the District of Columbia.
  • Ginsburg, Alan et alAbsences Add Up: How School Attendance Influences Student Success, Attendance Works, September 2014. This state-by-state analysis of national testing data demonstrates that students who miss more school than their peers consistently score lower on standardized tests, a result that holds true at every age, in every demographic group, and in every state and city tested. The report based on the results of the 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). It compares attendance rates and NAEP scores for every state and for 21 large urban areas.
  • Gottfried, Michael, Retained Students and Classmates’ Absences in Urban Schools, American Educational Research Journal, December 2013, Vol. 50, No. 6, pp. 1392–1423. Research in grade retention has predominantly focused on the effect of this practice on the retained student. This study examines the effect of retained classmates on the outcomes of other students in the same classroom. Using a longitudinal data set of all elementary school students in a large urban school district, this study evaluates how the percentage of retained classmates affects other students’ absence patterns, both unexcused and excused. The results indicate that a greater percentage of retained classmates increases other students’ absences.
  • Gottfried, MichaelThe Detrimental Effect of Missing School, American Journal of Education, v. 117, no. 2, Feb. 2011, p. 147-182. This article provides the first analysis aimed at reducing the family-specific omitted variable bias pertaining to measures of absences in their influence on standardized testing achievement. It does so by employing a model of family fixed effects on a longitudinal sample of siblings within the same household in a large urban school district over six years of observations. The results indicate a stronger, statistically significant negative relationship between absences and achievement than what would have been suggested otherwise.
  • Gottfried, Michael.Evaluating the Relationship Between Student Attendance and Achievement in Urban Elementary and Middle Schools: An Instrumental Variables Approach, American Educational Research Journal, June 2010, Vol. 47, No. 2, pp. 434-465.This study evaluates the connection between student attendance and positive learning outcomes. The researcher uses a comprehensive data set of elementary and middle schools in the Philadelphia school district to explore the causal impact of attendance on multiple measures of achievement, including grade-point average and standardized test scores. The study showed a direct and consistent causal relationship between good attendance and good academic school outcomes in the K-5 and 6-8 schools.
  • Gunderson, Jessica et al.Getting Teenagers Back to School: Rethinking New York State’s Response to Chronic Absence, Vera Institute of Justice, New York, NY October 2010.This policy brief looks at one response to the statewide problem of chronic school absence in New York State: reporting parents to the child protective system. It determines that the system is ill equipped to deal with school attendance and that punitive approaches fly in the face of research on adolescent development. The report concludes that the first step toward more effectively addressing chronic absence among teens may be to remove them from the juTherisdiction of the child protective system.
  • Harris, Ronald et al., Using TANF Sanctions to Increase High School Graduation. Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, September 2001, Vol. 28 Issue 3, pg. 211. The School Attendance Demonstration Project (SADP) was aimed at encouraging AFDC teens in San Diego Unified School Distict to finish high school. The project used a combined approach of the financial incentive in the form of a penalty for non-attendance in school, and the provision of social services. The findings indicated that SADP did not effect graduations and that at-risk teens from families receiving public assistance have on-going problems with securing an education that are difficult to correct with SADP services and sanctions.
  • Henderson, Tia et al., The Connection Between Missing School and Health: A Review of Chronic Absenteeism and Student Health in Oregon, Upstream Public Health, October 2014. Upstream Public Health looks “upstream” at factors in communities, at home, and at schools that lead to chronic absenteeism. The report reviews data and research on student absences — finding that unexpected factors such as unstable housing, fear of bullying, and punitive school discipline policies as well as health conditions such as hunger, dental pain, respiratory illness, and depression contribute to absenteeism. Additionally, it explores how adults with less education are more likely to smoke, be overweight, have diabetes, and die prematurely of certain chronic conditions.
  • Hillman, Charles H. et al., Effects of the FITKids Randomized Controlled Trial on Executive Control and Brain Function. Pediatrics, September 29, 2014. This study found significant differences between students in the afterschool program and those on the wait list. Students in the intervention group improved two-fold when tested on accuracy and cognitive tasks compared to the students who did not participate in the afterschool program. Researchers found widespread changes in brain function, meaning greater amounts of executive control in the students that engaged in physical activity while participating in the afterschool program. Students in the program also improved both their overall fitness and their school attendance rates.
  • In School and On Track 2014:  Attorney General’s 2014 report on California’s elementary school truancy and absenteeism crisis, Office of Attorney General, California Department of Justice, September 2014.  In School + On Track 2013 highlighted the unacceptable rates of elementary school truancy using attendance records from the 2011-2012 school year. This year’s report indicates that those rates were not isolated or unique — truancy rates are persistent in California. In the 2012-2013 school year, the school year immediately preceding last year’s report, 1 in 5 elementary school students were truant, or 744,085 students. This marks an increase of 1.2% from 2011-2012. Because California takes an entire year to release its official truancy figures, official truancy rates are only available for years that predate the 2013 report. This year, due to a partnership with Aeries Student Information System, we have access to new estimated rates of absenteeism for disadvantaged student populations from the 2013-2014 school year. According to estimates based on a sample of California school districts, over 250,000 elementary school students were chronically absent in 2013-2014 — defined as missing 10% or more of the school year, adding up to roughly 18 or more school days. Even more troubling, over 50,000 elementary students were chronically truant, and over 40,000 missed at least 36 days of school in one year. Absences are also highest in the earliest years of school most critical for developing foundational skills like reading. As was true in In School + On Track 2013, we can only estimate these more severe indicators of attendance problems because California does not collect information on students’ total absences, chronic absenteeism, or chronic truancy.
  • In School and On Track 2013:  Report on California’s Elementary School Truancy and Absenteeism Crisis. Office of Attorney General, California Department of Justice, 2013.  According to the California Department of Education, 691,470 California elementary school children, or 1 out of every 5 elementary school students, were reported to be truant in the 2011-2012 school year. Statewide, 38% of all truant students are elementary school children.  Given these disturbing statistics, Attorney General Kamala Harris commissioned a study to examine the scope, causes and effects of truancy and absenteeism in California. The study also focused on what law enforcement, parents, educators, non-profits, public agencies and concerned community members can and must do about this problem.
  • Kauh, Tina J.AfterZone: Outcomes for Youth Participating in Providence’s After-School System, Public/Private Ventures, August 2011. Providence’s citywide after-school effort, known as the AfterZone, produced educational benefits for students – including improved school attendance and attitudes – according to one of the first rigorous evaluations of a citywide after-school initiative. Some benefits did not last beyond a year, perhaps because many youngsters took part only briefly. The report is the second of two studies looking at the AfterZone.
  • Kerr, Jill et al., Does Contact by a Family Nurse Practitioner Decrease Early School Absence?, The Journal of School Nursing, September 14, 2011. Chronic early school absence is associated with school failure. The presence of school nurses may lead to fewer absences, and nurse practitioners in school-based health centers can facilitate a healthier population resulting in improved attendance. This article describes a nursing intervention to decrease early school absence in two elementary schools and a Head Start program.
  • Kearney, Christopher and Patricia Graczyk. A Response to Intervention Model to Promote School Attendance and Decrease School Absenteeism. Child and Youth Care Forum, February 2014. This article seeks to lay the foundation and suggested parameters for a Response to Intervention (RtI) model to promote school attendance and address school absenteeism. This model is meant as a blueprint for professionals who strive to align assessment, preventative efforts, and interventions to student attendance patterns and related needs.  The authors discuss RtI principles and concepts, the compatibility of an RtI model to conceptualize attendance and absenteeism, and a proposed three-tiered system of support based on student needs.
  • Koester, Nancy, Chronic Early Absenteeism: Prevalence and MEAP Performance in Kent ISD, Community Research Institute, Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University, March 2012. Chronic early absenteeism is prevalent in Michigan’s Kent ISD in urban areas where the percentage of the population living at or below poverty is high, and is especially prevalent among African-American and Hispanic youth. Examining data on the prevalence of chronic early absence in Kent ISD is the first step toward identifying and understanding the issues and factors that contribute to chronic early absenteeism in Kent ISD.
  • Levy, Douglas E., Jonathan P. Winickoff, Nancy A. RigottiSchool Absenteeism Among Children Living With Smokers Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, 2 September 2011. Children of parents who smoke have worse attendance than their peers with healthier parents, according to this study. Researchers looked at data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey to assess the relationship between adult-reported household tobacco use and child health and school attendance. Children who experienced tobacco exposure had significant academic disadvantages.
  • Lochmiller, Chad R., Court-Assisted Truancy Programs: A 2013 Survey of Indiana School Superintendents, prepared for the Indiana Department of Education by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University, October 2013.  School superintendents were surveyed to determine whether the state’s school corporations had established court-assisted truancy programs and, if they had, what support these programs provide. CEEP found court-assisted truancy programs operating in only a few school corporations across the state and are a relatively new phenomenon. These programs support students who have missed 10 or more days of school and connect them with the juvenile justice system and other social services in order to encourage regular school attendance.
  • Lochmiller, Chad R., Improving Student Attendance in Indiana’s Schools: Synthesis of Existing Research Related to Student Absenteeism and Effective, Research-Based Interventions, prepared for the Indiana Department of Education by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP) at Indiana University, October 2013.  Recent research completed by the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University indicate that chronically absent students in Indiana’s public schools perform lower on student learning assessments. Further, students who are routinely absent are also more likely to drop out of high school. During the 2013 legislative session, state lawmakers enacted new legislation that redefined chronic absenteeism and habitual truancy in Indiana, and also introduced new requirements for the schools. This review focuses on research related to predictors of student absenteeism and truancy, the effects of the student absenteeism and truancy, and research-based interventions that improve student attendance and reduce truancy as reported in the literature between 2000 and 2013. This report also proposes a model attendance plan that schools and school corporations in Indiana can adapt to comply with the new state requirements.
  • Lost Days: Patterns and Levels of Chronic Absence Among Baltimore City Public School Students 1999-00 to 2005-06., Produced by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium, this brief reveals that chronic absenteeism presents a significant challenge to classroom instruction and learning rates in the primary grades (1st – 5th) in Baltimore City Schools. Roughly a third of students in the first grade cohort were chronically absent at least once during their first five years. By the early secondary grades (6th and 10th), chronic absenteeism reached epidemic levels with missing significant amounts of school becoming a norm. Not surprisingly, there was a strong connection between chronic absenteeism and dropping out.
  • For more in-depth information about chronic absence in Baltimore elementary schools, see First Grade and Forward: A Seven-Year Examination within the Baltimore City Public School System.
  • For additional information on attendance issues and potential strategies in Baltimore, you can also see the work of the Baltimore Attendance Initiative supported by the Open Society Institute.
  • Lotyczewski, Bohdan S. and Guillermo Montes, United Way After-School Program Evaluation, Children’s Institute, July 2012.  In 2012, United Way of Rochester, New York partnered with the Children’s Institute and the Rochester City School District to evaluate the effectiveness of its after-school programs. The results show that kids in United Way’s after-school programs attend 6,100 more days of school than their peers and their GPAs were .87 points higher than their classmates. Results from the first year evaluation showed that kids in after-school had a GPA increase of .25 points. Read the Impact Briefing released in December 2013.
  • Mac Iver, Martha and Matthew Messel, Predicting High School Outcomes in the Baltimore City Public Schools, The Council of the Great City Schools, Senior Urban Education Research Fellowship Series, vol. 7, Summer 2012. This study examines the relationship between 8th and 9th grade early warning indicators as predictors of graduation outcomes, as well as the relationship between 9th grade indicators and college enrollment outcomes. It suggests early interventions to prevent chronic absence and course failure are crucial to increasing graduation rates. Analyses of September attendance data for first-time 9th graders indicate:  1) though student attendance in September is generally better than attendance over the full year, the two measures are correlated closely; 2) nearly 75% of those who missed 2 or more days in September were chronically absent for the entire year; 3) September attendance alone is a stronger predictor of 9th grade course failure than 8th grade attendance, being male, overage for grade, and 8th grade test scores (full year attendance, as expected, is a better predictor than September attendance, but the powerful early warning indicator in September comes in time to intervene and prevent further absences); and 4) positive, personal outreach to students and families in September helps improve attendance and prevent chronic absence.
  • Mac Iver, Martha Abele and Douglas J. Mac Iver, If We Build It, We Will Come: Impacts of a Summer Robotics Program on Regular Year Attendance in Middle School, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, September 2014. We know that quality summer programs help students return to school with stronger skills for the new year. But can these programs spur better attendance?  A study of a robotics program for Baltimore middle school students suggests that the engagement and interest generated over the summer carries into the school year. The STEM program, developed by the Baltimore City Public Schools and supported by the U.S. Department of Education and local foundations, provided math and science instruction with an eye toward improving achievement and engagement. The hands-on program gave sixth- to eight-grade students a chance to build a robot. These robots then competed in a city-wide tournaments. The program hasn’t met all of its goals:  enrollment and attendance in the program has fallen short, and math achievement hasn’t risen significantly.  But an analysis found that school-year attendance rates are much higher for the students who attend the summer robotic programs than for similar students who didn’t. The results are particularly strong for the students with the weakest math skills.
  • Mac Iver, Martha A.Gradual Disengagement: A Portrait of the 2008-2009 Dropouts in Baltimore City Schools, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, August 2010. The majority of students who eventually drop out of high school enter 9th grade with a pattern of chronic absenteeism that goes back at least several years, the study shows. Many have been retained and are behind at least one grade. It is critical to begin interventions in middle school. A more intensive focus on intervention and prevention during the middle grades is one of the most crucial directions for reducing the dropout rate.
  • Mac Iver, Martha A.Moving Forward to Improve Graduation Rates in Baltimore City, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, Baltimore, MD. April 2011. A study of two first‐time ninth grade cohorts in Baltimore City Schools found that the probability of graduation increases steadily as ninth grade attendance rates increase. More than eight in 10 who attended school at least 95% of the time in ninth grade went on to graduate. By contrast, the graduation rate was lower than 20% for those ninth graders who attended less than 70% of the time.
  • Mendell, Mark et al. Association of Classroom Ventilation with Reduced Illness Absence: A Prospective Study in California Elementary Schools, Indoor Air, vol 23, issue 3, April 2013.  This report found that bringing classroom ventilation rates up to the state-mandated standard may reduce student absences due to illness by approximately 3.4 percent.  Extensive data on ventilation rates was collected from more than 150 classrooms in California over two years.  The study found that ventilation rates varied widely across the districts, within districts, and even within schools, and that portable classrooms, on average, had less ventilation.
  • Musser, Martha.Taking Attendance Seriously: How School Absences Undermine Student and School Performance in New York City, Center for Fiscal Equity. June 2011. This report on New York City public school children found that student attendance is a statistically significant predictor of student performance. What’s more, students are affected by the attendance rates of their schools, so that even students with high attendance rates suffer academically from being in an environment where absenteeism is a problem.
  • Nandrup-Bus, Ange. Comparative studies of hand disinfection and handwashing procedures as tested by pupils in intervention programs, American Journal of Infection Control, Vol. 39, Issue 6, August 2011. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of mandatory, scheduled hand disinfection (HD) on actual absenteeism because of infectious illness in elementary school pupils in Denmark. A three-month experiment compared one school in which students were required to wash their hands three times a day, with another where hand washing was not required. Hand-washing was shown to significantly decrease absenteeism.
  • Nauer, Kim et al, A Better Picture of Poverty: What Chronic Absenteeism and Risk Load Reveal About NYC’s Lowest-Income Elementary Schools, Center for New York City Affairs at the New School, November 2014. This report looks closely at New York City’s schools and documents the risk factors that plague struggling schools. Researchers found that more than 87,000 New York City children from kindergarten through third grade missed 10 percent or more of the school year in 2012-13. That number is down from 2008, when the New School released its first report on chronic absence. That report spurred then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg to launch an intensive pilot program in 100 schools to improve attendance. The rate of chronic absenteeism in elementary schools declined from 23 percent in 2009 to 19 percent 2013. The report went beyond student data to identify 130 schools were more than a third of students were chronically absent for five straight years. These schools had a few things in common: Scores on standardized tests for reading and math were far below the city averages. And many of the students lived in deep poverty with high rates of homelessness, child abuse reports and male unemployment.
  • Nauer, Kim, White, Andrew & Yerneni, Rajeev. Strengthening Schools by Strengthening Families: Community Strategies to Reverse Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades and Improve Supports for Children and Families, Center for New York City Affairs at the New School. October 2008. This study found that more than 90,000 children in grades K through 5 (more than 20 percent of enrollment) missed at least one month of school. In high poverty neighborhoods, the number was far higher, approaching one-third of primary grade students. In 2011, the report was updated with new data that showing significant decreases in chronic absence rates for New York City.
  • New York City Public School Indicators: Demographics, Resources, Outcomes: Annual Report 2011. New York City Independent Budget Office, September 2011. This report is the first annual summary of data provided for the Independent Budget Office. It is designed as a descriptive overview of the school system rather than as an in-depth look at particular issues. It is organized into three main sections:  demographic information on the students who attend New York City’s public schools; resources—budgets, school staff, and buildings—that the school system utilizes; and the measurable outcomes of the school system’s efforts for particular subgroups of students.
  • Olson, Linda S., Why September Matters: Improving Student Attendance, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, July 2014. Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance patterns throughout the year, providing an early warning sign for parents and educators to intervene and put students back on track, according to this brief which examines attendance in the Baltimore City Public Schools for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in September and throughout the rest of the 2012-13 school year. Olson found that: students who missed fewer than 2 days in September typically had good attendance rates for the entire year; half the students who missed 2-4 days in September went on to miss a month or more of school; and nearly 9 out of 10 students who missed more than 4 days in September were chronically absent that year.
  • Olson, Linda S., Faith Connolly, and Alok H. KommajesulaFamily League 2011-12 Out of School Time Programs in Baltimore City, Baltimore Education Research Consortium, Baltimore, MD, October 2013. This report examines the relationship between out-of-school time programs and school absence. Through the Family League’s education initiative, thousands of children in Baltimore have access to quality after school and summer learning opportunities. Among students who regularly attended OST programs, they had higher promotion rates than their peers, entered 6th and 9th grade with higher school attendance (important transition grades to middle and high school), and were significantly less likely to be chronically absent.
  • Ou, Suh-Ruu and Reynolds, Arthur. Predictors of Educational Attainment in the Chicago Longitudinal Study, School Psychology Quarterly, v. 23, no. 2, p. 199-229, 2008. This study attempts to determine the graduation likelihood of a sample of 12-year-old students in the Chicago area who were at risk of not completing school due to poverty. Several variables, including number of absences, were significant predictors of high school completion. Absences across the sample ranged from 2 to 17 days missed. Results found that each additional absence above five days missed decreases a student’s likelihood of graduation by 7%. If the number of absences of a student is increased from five days missed to 10 days missed, the likelihood this student will graduate decreases by 35%. Students with the most absences (17 days absent) thus had a graduation likelihood of only 15% at the age of 12.
  • Pourat, Nadereh and Gina Nicholson, Unaffordable Dental Care Is Linked to Frequent School Absences. UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, November 2009.  Tooth decay is the single most common chronic disease of childhood and affects nearly 60% of children in the United States.  In 2007, approximately 7% of school-age children in California missed at least one day of school due to a dental problem.  The ability to afford needed care is the key difference between those children who miss school and those who do not.  This report examines the link between unaffordable dental care and missed school days, especially among children who are uninsured, lower-income, limited English-proficient, Asian American, and who have poor oral health.
  • The Power of Attendance: Spurring Achievement, Improving Schools. Attendance Works, May 2010. In 2009, across Maryland, more than 80,000 students had 20 or more absences — excused and unexcused. Rather than look just at truancy, this measure of “chronic absence” gives schools and districts a fuller picture of what’s going on with a student or a community.  The State Department of Education: 1) requires schools and districts to track students missing 20 days of school in an academic year, 2) requires schools and districts to track students missing 5 or fewer days, 3) posts attendance data on the MSDE website, 4) requires 94 percent average daily attendance to meet state standards for schools serving Kindergarten through 8th grade, and 5) includes some attendance data in its longitudinal student database.
  • Promoting Improved Oral Health: Legislator Policy Brief, Council of State Governments Healthy States Initiative, June 2008. This policy brief addresses the impact of oral diseases among children and adults. Among school-age children (5 to 17), tooth decay is the most common chronic disease — five times more prevalent than asthma and seven times more prevalent than hay fever. Children lose approximately 50 million school hours each year to dental-related illnesses, and low-income children lose 12 times as much. This report also provides state policy examples from Arkansas, Colorado, Tennessee, and Ohio.
  • Race Matters in Early School Attendance, Race Matters Institute, January 2013. This report examines the effect of chronic absence on the early grades particularly for children of color who face “racialized” barriers to attendance. Barriers explored include health problems caused by environmental toxins, ineffective school outreach to parents, logistical difficulties, residential instability, and early school suspension and expulsion. The report calls for better data on absenteeism that begins earlier in life, greater school contributions to student health and transportation, and stronger partnerships between schools, parents, decision-makers, and other systems to work to prevent chronic absenteeism.
  • Railsback, Jennifer. Increasing Student Attendance: Strategies from Research and Practice, Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory, June 2004. This report looks at practices and outcomes of attendance programs across the country. Although promising practices exist across the country, there are no “silver bullet” approaches proven to keep children in school. Other research has investigated how school disengagement relates to decreased attendance. In addition to asking “How can we help students deal with their problems in coming to school?” many researchers, schools, and community members are also asking, “How are the schools contributing to absenteeism and how can schools work with communities and parents to keep youngsters engaged, in school, and learning what they need to know to be successful?”
  • Ready, Douglas D. Socioeconomic Disadvantage, School Attendance, and Early Cognitive Development, The Differential Effects of School Exposure, Sociology of Education, October 2010. Over the past several decades, research has documented strong relationships between social class and children’s cognitive abilities. These initial cognitive differences, which are substantial at school entry, increase as children progress through school. Despite the robust findings associated with this research, authors have generally neglected the extent to which school absenteeism exacerbates social class differences in academic development among young children. Results of this report suggest that the effects of schooling on cognitive development are stronger for lower socioeconomic status (SES) children and that the findings associated with theories of summer learning loss are applicable to literacy development during early elementary school.
  • Roderick, Melissa et al., Preventable Failure: Improvements in Long-Term Outcomes when High Schools Focused on the Ninth Grade Year, University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, April 2014.  Research from UChicago CCSR shows that students who end their ninth-grade year on track are almost four times more likely to graduate from high school than those who are off track. In response, Chicago Public Schools launched a major effort in 2007 centered on keeping more ninth-graders on track to graduation.  The district initiative promoted the use of data to monitor students’ level of dropout risk throughout the ninth-grade year, allowing teachers to intervene before students fell too far behind. The diversity of strategies was notable — from calls home when students missed a class to algebra tutoring to homework help. Since that time, the CPS on-track rate has risen 25 percentage points, from 57 to 82 percent. This report shows that improvements in ninth grade on-track rates were sustained in tenth and eleventh grade and followed by a large increase in graduation rates.*Read the CCSR April 24, 2014 press release, which includes a summary of the companion report Free to Fail or On-Track to College: Why Grades Drop When Students Enter High School and What Adults Can Do About It (also posted on this web page).
  • Romero, Mariajose and Young-Sun Lee, A National Portrait of Chronic Absenteeism in the Early Grades, National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University. October 2007. This brief reveals a significant level of absenteeism in the early school years, especially among low-income children, and confirms its detrimental effects on school success by examining children from across various incomes and race/ethnicity groups in a nationally representative sample of children entering kindergarten. Early absenteeism negatively impacted academic achievement in reading, math, and general knowledge in the early school years.  And greater absenteeism in kindergarten was associated with lower achievement at the end of first grade. On average, children missing 10% or more of the school year scored five points less than did those who were absent up to 3% of the school year in kindergarten.
  • Rosenkranz, Todd et al., Free to Fail or On-Track to College: Why Grades Drop When Students Enter High School and What Adults Can Do About It, University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research, April 2014. High school teachers often assume freshmen are ready to take on the responsibility for managing their own academic behavior. However, students often interpret their new freedom to mean that attending classes and working hard are choices rather than responsibilities, and as a result their attendance and study habits significantly decline. Students miss almost three times as many days of school in ninth grade as in eighth grade. This increase is primarily driven by an explosion in the number of unexcused absences, which is nearly four times larger in ninth grade than in eighth grade. In 2008-09, the typical ninth-grader missed 27 days of school, with 21.4 of those days due to unexcused absences. This report details the dramatic drop in grades, attendance, and academic behavior that occurs between eighth and ninth grade and demonstrates how intense monitoring and support can help schools keep more ninth-graders on track to graduation.*Read the CCSR April 24, 2014 press release, which includes a summary of the companion report Preventable Failure: Improvements in Long-Term Outcomes when High Schools Focused on the Ninth Grade Year (also posted on this web page)
  • Sanchez, Monika., Truancy and Chronic Absence in Redwood City. John W. Gardner Center for Youth and their Communities. Palo Alto, Calif. April 2012. A study of chronic absenteeism in the Redwood City School District found the highest rates in kindergarten and 12th grade. The study also found that the largest, statistically significant factor in whether a student was chronically absent was his or her chronic absence status in the prior year. Missing school also played a role in student academic outcomes. After controlling for background factors, the number of days a student was absent had a significant negative effect on California Standards Test percentiles in both math and English Language Arts  for students in grades 3 through 8, as well as on Grade Point Average  in high school students. Middle and higher achieving students were found to be at greatest risk of academic decline due to chronic absence. The study also found that 18 percent of students in the child welfare system were chronically absent, in contrast to 8 percent of students who were not in the system.
  • Read the summary snapshot Chronic Absence in Redwood City, California Schools
  • Read the policy fact sheet Collaborative Approaches to Reducing Absenteeism Among K-12 Students
  • Schoeneberger, Jason A., Longitudinal Attendance Patterns: Developing High School Dropouts, The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 85:1, 7-14, November 2011. In this study, the researcher used longitudinal data on student attendance patterns from a large urban school district to model trajectories over time and categorize students into groups based on their attendance patterns from 1st through 8th grades. Using this technique, the study identified four categories of students: Constant Attendees who rarely missed more than 10% of school days; Developing Truants who showed increasing prevalence of absenteeism in the late elementary and middle school grades; Early Truants who were more likely to be chronically absent in the early elementary grades but showed improved attendance with time; and Chronic Truants, who exhibited the highest prevalence of missing school across all grades. Modeling each group’s trajectory, the study found that these longitudinal categories are predictive of high school dropout. Furthermore, while Chronic Truants have a 21% likelihood of dropping out, the likelihood for Developing Truants is even higher at 25%, suggesting that longitudinal attendance patterns should be used as a warning system to identify students at-risk of disengaging from school.
  • Schultz, Jennifer Lee and Chanelle Gandy. Increasing school attendance for K-8 students: A review of research examining the effectiveness of truancy prevention programsWilder Foundation, March 2007. This analysis examines several multi-faceted truancy prevention programs, which combine school-based, family-based, and community-based interventions. The study focused on programs for elementary and middle school students. Detailed descriptions are given of the studies, along with specific examples of what worked well and what methods were ineffective.
  • Sheldon, Steven B. Improving Student Attendance with School, Family and Community Partnerships, Journal of Educational Research, January 2007. The author of this study used data from the state of Ohio to compare student attendance in elementary schools that developed school-wide programs of school, family, and community partnerships with the attendance of students in schools that did not develop the programs. Analyses showed that in schools working to implement school, family, and community partnerships, student attendance improved an average of .5%, whereas in comparison schools, rates of student attendance declined slightly from 1 year to the next.
  • Silver, David et al. What Factors Predict High School Graduation in Los Angeles Unified School District, California Dropout Research Project Report #14, UC Santa Barbara Graduate School of Education, June 2008. In collaboration with LAUSD, the authors of this study analyzed district data to track the educational progress of a
  • ll first-time 2001-02 9th graders from the 6th grade through to their expected graduation in the spring of 2005. The analysis of transcript records, standardized test scores, and a broad database of student and school characteristics exposes troubling rates of academic failure, but it also offers reasons for hope, demonstrating that academic experiences and school factors play a much larger role than student demographics in determining graduation rates.
  • Skipping to Nowhere: Students share their views about missing school, Get Schooled Foundation. August 2012. In a report by the Get Schooled Foundation, students share their views about missing school and admit to frequently skipping school without parental knowledge. The report found that more than 61 percent of school skippers cite boredom as the cause for cutting class and more than 80 percent of students who skip school once a week think it does not affect their grades or decrease their chances of graduating.
  • Spencer, Andrea M. School Attendance Patterns, Unmet Educational Needs, and Truancy: A Chronological Perspective, Remedial and Special Education, September/October 2009; vol. 30, 5: pp. 309-319. This study examines chronological patterns of attendance and academic performance of urban students who are identified as truants in Grade 8. A chronological review of 42 student records, from school entry through Grade 8, identified high frequencies of absenteeism and academic performance issues beginning at school entry and, in many cases, persisting throughout elementary and middle school years. Results suggest that ongoing analysis of attendance data within a school system could help to identify early patterns of absenteeism that lead to truancy in upper elementary and middle school grades.
  • Spradlin, Terry et al., Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism in Indiana: The Impact on Student Achievement, Education Policy Brief, Summer 2012; vol. 10, no. 3. This brief summarizes the research and data analysis completed by the Center for Evaluation & Education Policy on Indiana’s student attendance and absenteeism data. Findings indicate that although the majority of schools report good average daily attendance, chronic absenteeism occurs in schools in all areas of Indiana. This report also describes the impact of chronic absenteeism on achievement and graduation at the student, school, and locality level. Best practices for improving attendance are discussed, as well as recommendations for reducing chronic absenteeism in Indiana to help improve academic outcomes for thousands of Hoosier students.
  • State of Chronic Absenteeism and School Health, The Baltimore Student Attendance Campaign and Elev8 Baltimore, April 2012. To address the problem of health-related absenteeism, Elev8 Baltimore and the Baltimore Student Attendance Campaign collaborated to prepare a preliminary review of absenteeism and school-based health services (referred to in this report as school health) in Baltimore City. This review aims to analyze existing data, policies, and programs to create a snapshot of what is currently being done to address health-related absenteeism in the city. While not an exhaustive analysis of school health, it is a first look into the links between absenteeism and school health from a local, state and national perspective.
  • Van Cura, Maureen., The Relationship Between School-Based Health Centers, Rates of Early Dismissal From School, and Loss of Seat Time, Journal of School Health, Vol. 80, No.8, August 2010. This researcher studied two high schools in New York – one with a school-based health center and one without. Controlling for race, gender, age, poverty, and presence of a pre-existing illness, this study shows that school-based health centers have a direct impact on educational outcomes such as attendance.
  • Webber, Mayris P., et al. Burden of Asthma in Inner-City Schoolchildren: Do School-Based Health Centers Make a Difference?, Arch Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine Volume 157, February 2003. This study compared information about students at six inner-city elementary schools in the Bronx. Four of the schools had school-based health centers while two did not. Researchers looked at data regarding hospitalization, emergency department visit, and absenteeism among students with asthma. They found that access to school-based health centers reduced the rate of hospitalization and decreased absenteeism for students with asthma.
  • Weismuller, Penny C., Merry A. Grasska, Marilyn Alexander, Catherine G. White, and Pat Kramer. Elementary School Nurse Interventions: Attendance and Health Outcomes, The Journal of School Nursing, April 2007; vol. 23, 2: pp. 111-118. This study describes the impact of school nurse interventions on student absenteeism and student health. A retrospective review of 240 randomly selected elementary student health folders and attendance records was conducted. School nurses were involved with 75% of high-absence students as compared to 66% of low-absence students; they were also more involved with students who had previously identified health conditions. There were no referrals to the school nurse for absenteeism and school nurse interventions were not targeted to attendance, despite 17% of students missing 11 or more school days.
  • West, Thomas C., Just the Right Mix: Identifying Potential Dropouts in Montgomery County Public Schools Using an Early Warning Indicators Approach. Office of Shared Accountability, Montgomery County Public Schools, MD, March 2013. Each school year, roughly a thousand students drop out of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). However, unlike other large, urban school districts where students who drop out skip school and are suspended often (Balfanz & Byrnes, 2010), students who drop out of MCPS are present in school; they just are not doing well academically. These students are generally coded as dropping out of school due to: 1) a lack of personal motivation or interest to continue their education, or to 2) a lack of academic success including low grades and/or retention. These are both signs of a lack of student engagement (i.e., investment and motivation towards school). This study examines the early warning indicators (attendance, behavior and coursework patterns) for students in grades 1, 3, 6, and 9 who eventually drop out of school.
  • Woods, Elizabeth R. et al., Community Asthma Initiative: Evaluation of a Quality Improvement Program for Comprehensive Asthma Care. Pediatrics, February 20, 2012. Asthma is one of the most common chronic illnesses for children in the United States, and rates have reached historically high levels nationally with large racial/ethnic health disparities. Preventive efforts to address asthma issues in early childhood have been found to return $1.46 for every dollar invested, by reducing hospital visits. Additionally, there was also a 41% reduction in missed school days, and a 50% reduction in parents missing work due to an ill child.