October 20, 2020
8 million students. That’s the number of students who miss 10% or more days from school, defined as missing 10 percent or more of the year, according to the USDOE. The numbers have been alarming, so it is even more concerning that they represent the pre-COVID years. COVID will likely dramatically increase the number of students already struggling with participation and attendance. The implications are profound but there are proven ways to alleviate this rapidly growing problem.
Chronic absenteeism is linked to lower third grade reading proficiency, lower math and reading percentiles by middle school, and a 7x higher dropout rate in high school. There are also racial and ethnic disparities with regard to rates of chronic absenteeism. Compared to their white peers, Black students are 40 percent more likely to lose 10% of school or more, Hispanic students are 17 percent more likely, and American Indian and Pacific Islander students are over 50 percent more likely to lose three weeks of school or more. Approximately 800 school districts reported that more than 30 percent of their students were chronically absent in 2015-2016.
There are many reasons that children are chronically absent – those factors include barriers (e.g., illness, lack of health, mental health, vision, or dental care), negative school experiences (bullying, suspensions and expulsions, struggling academically or socially), lack of engagement (lack of culturally relevant, engaging instruction, unwelcoming school climate), and misconceptions (e.g, absences are only a problem if they are unexcused; missing 2 days per month doesn’t affect learning).
There are, also, many strategies for getting students to attend school regularly. But without data to understand why students are absent and the ability to engage and empower all of your families and students with accessible technology, supportive resources, and actionable information on a 24/7 basis, schools and districts cannot employ these strategies effectively. It can also be difficult to ascertain the reasons why students are chronically absent at the individual student, school, and district levels and connect the right student with just-in-time support at the right time.
AllHere provides educators with a comprehensive way to foster student attendance with mobile messaging powered by AI. We develop chatbots that support families and students on the path to and through school. With interactive nudges and simultaneous proactive and reactive support that refresh attendance data daily, AllHere helps educators, teachers, interventionists, counselors, and administrators stay one step ahead and support students at scale with AI-powered assistance at their fingertips 24/7.
Here’s how AllHere can help your school or district improve attendance.
Interested in seeing AllHere’s AI-powered text messaging intervention in action? Get in touch with our team to schedule a demo.