Practice brief

Approaches to Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

Approaches to Reducing Chronic Absenteeism
Mary Perry
Mary L. Perry Consulting
Michael Gottfried
University of Pennsylvania
Kiarah Young
Sacramento City Unified School District
Cecelia Colchico
"Be Here, Every Day Counts" campaign, Sacramento City Unified School District
Kathy Lee
Corona-Norco Unified School District
Hedy N. Chang
Attendance Works


Acknowledging the importance of students simply being in school, California has made student attendance part of its accountability system. This brief covers a session in which it was pointed out that using chronic absenteeism as an accountability measure is new and its underlying causes are not well understood. Even as many schools face the expectation that they take action to address high rates of absenteeism, myths about school attendance persist. The brief includes examples of local efforts to improve student attendance and discusses steps needed to build the capacity of schools and communities to get kids to school and keep them there.

Suggested citationPerry, M., Gottfried, M., Young, K., Colchico, C., Lee, K., & Chang, H. (2019, July). Approaches to reducing chronic absenteeism [Practice brief]. Policy Analysis for California Education.