Information in the menus below was updated in February 2020. To contribute information that may be of interest to others in your country, please contact your country’s hosts: Christopher Kearney (firstname.lastname@example.org), Brian Chu (BrianChu@rci.rutgers.edu), Carolyn Gentle-Genitty (email@example.com), or Jake Brosius (Jake.Brosius@indy.gov).
People, groups, and organizations
Not for profit:
- ‘The International Association for Truancy and Drop-out Prevention’ (IATDP) is an association of educators, government officials and stakeholders whose history of truancy and dropout prevention efforts date back to 1911.
- ‘Attendance Works’ is a national and state initiative to advance student success by reducing chronic absence.
- The ‘National Centre for School Engagement’ (NCSE) promotes attendance, attachment, and achievement. The NCSE “collaborates with school districts, law enforcement agencies, courts, and state and federal agencies to support youth and their families to be engaged at school”, with special attention to truancy, dropout, and bullying prevention. This website includes resources for disengaged school youth at risk for dropout.
- ‘Advocates for Children of New Jersey’ focuses on several issues surrounding child welfare, including “early care and education” and “school attendance.”
- ‘School Refusal Hope’ offers information and resources for parents that are struggling to assist with children experiencing school avoidance. Topics include possible mental health diagnoses, communicating with the school, and more.
- ‘The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare’ is “a critical tool for identifying, selecting, and implementing evidence-based child welfare practices that will improve child safety, increase permanency, increase family and community stability, and promote child and family well-being.”
- ‘National Dropout Prevention Center - Model Programs Database’ is a searchable database of research-based programs and information. It includes models for Tier 1 (prevention) work.
Current and upcoming activities and achievements
- Reconciling Contemporary Approaches to School Attendance and School Absenteeism: Toward Promotion and Nimble Response, Global Policy Review and Implementation, and Future Adaptability In this two-part publication, Dr. Christopher Kearney and colleagues outline the complex nature of school attendance and absenteeism (SA/A), including varying definitions of the issue and the diverse methods by which it has been measured. Following this summation, the authors describe how this myriad of foundations for understanding SA/A has led to additional complexity in addressing the concerns. Yet, there are areas in which these differing approaches have commonalities. By exploring these commonalities and the respective conclusions, the authors pose that an approach based in a multidimensional Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) to handling SA/A may be effective. This system empowers schools to utilize multiple levels of intervention, from policies and programs presented to all students to concentrated efforts addressing increasing absences with parents and families to deploying targeted interventions characterized by the needs of the student. Beyond these efforts, a multi-dimensional MTSS also asks schools to consider the diversity in their student populations. Overall, Dr. Kearney and his colleagues attempt to comprehensively demonstrate how school attendance and absenteeism has been previously characterized, analyzed, and addressed, looking for commonalities and potential solutions. Authors are:
- Dr. Christopher A. Kearney, Distinguished Professor and Chair, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.
- Dr. Carolina Gonzálvez, Assistant Professor, Department of Evolutionary and Didactic Psychology, University of Alicante, Spain.
- Dr. Patricia A. Graczyk, Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA.
- Mirae J. Fornander, Clinical Ph.D. Student, Department of Psychology, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA.
- A Change in the Frame: From Absenteeism to Attendance. School attendance is important for student long-term academic and career success. However, in the U.S., our current practice often disenfranchises more at-risk students than it helps. Students slated for suspension and expulsion are often recipients of these practices. This manuscript offers a recommended change in how we frame student absenteeism and attendance using attendance markers and conceptual information by identifying the discrepancies, proposing options, and recommending a new way to actively leverage attendance data (not absenteeism data) for proactive student support. Particular attention is paid to how excused and unexcused absences and in-school suspensions are treated. An emerging pivot program, the Evaluation and Support Program, engages students while they receive school services, community support, and complete consequences is discussed as a possible, promising intervention. Authors are:
- Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty, Office of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
- Dr. James Taylor, Adjunct Professor, Indiana University School of Social Work, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
- Dr. Corinne Renguette, Assistant Professor, Technical Communication, Department of Technology Leadership and Communication, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
Past activities and achievements
- 2019, October 20-22: The 109th Annual Conference of the International Association for Truancy and Drop-out Prevention (IATDP) was held in Memphis (TN).
- 2019, October 16-18: INSA hosted their first conference on school absenteeism in Oslo, Norway. The US’s very own Dr. Carolyn Gentle-Genitty was one of the international keynote speakers! INSA Members can see the video of her presentation by logging in via the Members menu.
- 2019, July 9-12: Innovative School Summit Las Vegas, was held at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- 2019, January: NCSE hosted a week-long series of professional development trainings addressing the following topics: “Developing a Problem-Solving Truancy Court,” “Improving School Attendance,” “Creating a Trauma Informed School,” and “Addressing Vicarious Trauma for Staff and Students.”
Helpful links and other resources
- The “Every Student Succeeds Act” is the US law on national education and commitment to equal opportunity for all students.
- US Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.
- US Department of Education - “Chronic Absenteeism in the Nation’s Schools.”
- What Works Clearinghouse is “an investment of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) within the U.S. Department of Education” which “reviews the existing research on different programs, products, practices, and policies in education” in order to “provide educators with the information they need to make evidence-based decisions.” Search for absenteeism programs.
- Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), has resources for truancy programs.
- American Council for School Social Work (ACSSW) advocates for the practice of school social work and supports school social workers in their service to students, schools, and families to overcome social, systemic, economic and mental health barriers to student learning. Link: https://acssw.org/. Helpful links recommended by ACSSW are listed below.
- Articles on absenteeism can be found below.
- 2020 Feb: A blog in US magazine Psychology Today titled "School Refusal: Crime, Mental Disorder, or Human Right? Views on school refusal depend on beliefs about children and human rights".
- 2018 Sept: “Roll Call: 15 Percent of K-12 Students Chronically Absent from School,” published in US News on Sept. 6, 2018.
- 2018 Sept: “Student absenteeism: Who misses school and how missing school matters for performance,” published on Sept. 25 2018.
- 2018 Apr: “How Many Students Are Chronically Absent in Your State? Federal Data Show Rates Rising,” published in Education Week on April 25, 2018.
- 2017 Nov: “Are Your Schools Tracking Absenteeism the Right Way?” published by Governing.
- 2017 Sept: “Who's In: Chronic Absenteeism Under ESSA,” published on Sept. 26, 2017 by FutureEd. Future Ed is “an independent, solution-oriented think tank at Georgetown University's McCourt School of Public Policy.”
- 2017 Aug: “How to Counter Back-to-School Anxiety,” published by National Public Radio on August 28, 2017.