As schools and communities devise strategies to address chronic absence, it is imperative that they draw from evidence-based strategies. It’s even more critical that approaches are adapted to what works in the era of Covid-19, when students and families face even greater challenges to education and may need a higher level of support. As protests over systemic racism and its impact on Black Americans demonstrates, our public schools have not adequately addressed the systemic barriers that limit access and equitable opportunities.
To address these challenges, FutureEd developed in partnership with Attendance Works an updated Attendance Playbook: Smart Strategies for Reducing Chronic Absence in the Covid Era.
The playbook includes the Attendance Works new data framework for monitoring attendance and participation, whether school is virtual or blended. The collection of this data will be more important than ever to help educators target supports to groups of students who need additional help to overcome barriers to attendance and participation.
After the release of the original playbook in 2019, educators reached out to ask us how they should use the playbook. Attendance Works has developed the Guide to Using the Attendance Playbook: Smart Strategies for Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in the Covid Era as a companion to the updated playbook. Used together, these two resources help educators determine what interventions to try with students and their families, whether you are in person, at a distance or doing both.
The implementation guide is designed for school and district teams and leaders. The guide offers general ideas and tools as well as charts and checklists. The seven steps will smooth the way towards a plan for decisions and implementation of strategies and help with reassessment once your strategies are in place.
The playbook is filled with strategies to address student chronic absence, whether it be mild, moderate or severe, and divides strategies into the three tiers of intervention. It identifies the problem each intervention solves and highlights schools or school districts that have used the strategy successfully.
The Covid-19 considerations in the Attendance Playbook show ways to adapt evidence-based practices when is not possible to meet face-to-face. It includes supporting research for each intervention category. Each research study is also rated in a way to match the four levels of research evidence described in the Every Student Succeeds Act.
Over the past ten years, research and knowledge about what works to improve attendance for groups of students with disproportionately high rates of chronic absence has emerged. With nearly eight million students chronically absent in our country, we cannot afford to waste time and resources doing business as usual.
Download the Attendance Playbook for the Covid Era from the FutureEd website.