Showing Up Mattersfor R.E.A.L. Step 3

Use Data to Determine Need for Intervention and Additional Support

Data on chronic absence (missing 10% or more of school days for any reason), broken down by school, grade, classroom, student group and neighborhood of residence, can help you to identify which students, or groups of students, might be in need of additional support. Use this list of questions to guide your data review. We encourage examining how many students might need different levels, or tiers of attendance support. Keep in mind that the purpose of collecting and analyzing data is to activate support, not take punitive action.

While reviewing the data, notice whether they make sense. If data does not seem accurate, consider whether more guidance or training is needed to ensure a consistent, meaningful approach to taking attendance. To paint a more robust picture of attendance and engagement across learning modes, consider using these additional attendance metrics.

If you notice specific groups (particular classrooms, grades, demographic grouping or neighborhoods) have higher levels of chronic absence, take some time to gather additional information about their strengths and challenges. Connect with students and families as well as teachers and community partners.

The use of your data can identify if there is a “positive outlier” -  a classroom, school or program that has been more successful in supporting attendance for that group. What strategies can you adopt?

Tailoring strategies to the unique realities of specific student groups is essential. For example, among PreK-2 grades, it can be especially important to build strong partnerships with families and respond to their health and safety concerns.

By the time students are in middle and high school, it is critical to create opportunities for young people to have a voice in naming the challenges and developing solutions alongside their families. In addition, it is especially important to help students as they transition from elementary to middle school (typically 6th grade) and from middle to high school (typically 9th grade).

Ideas and Resources


These materials can help you calculate, analyze and use your data to provide targeted support and implement the R.E.A.L. framework.