Strategy 2: Consider Needed Supports
For individual students, use this worksheet on Understanding the Root Causes of Student Absences to organize your thoughts and what your team has learned from regular interactions inside or outside the classroom about the student. Understanding the root causes for missing too much school as well as what motivates the student to attend can help determine the best course of action. The five minutes you and your team spend filling in the worksheet can help you think ahead about what you know or might need to learn from a student or their family when developing an effective intervention plan.
If you are working with a large number of chronically absent students, consider first applying this strategy to a manageable number. Then, you can use the experience to determine how to help more students.
As you engage in this analysis, consider seeking help from one or more members of your school community. If your school has an attendance team in place, ask if they will consult with you. If you know that a child has worked well with another school staff person, ask for insights. As long as the adult is a district employee, you can discuss and share what is happening with a particular student. If the person is not, find out first if they have permission to see school data for that student. Otherwise, you will need to get permission from the family. Check with your site administrators or community school coordinator (if applicable) if you have any questions about how to appropriately consult with community partners.
Why are so many students missing so much school?