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Across the US many states are experiencing a K-12 education crisis. The latest NAEP report has revealed that student’s reading skills have had their largest drop in 30 years. What’s more, math’s scores have fallen for the first time in years. Worst affected states include Ohio, Rhode Island and Iowa, where test scores have fallen up to 10% for some cohorts.  

Across the board, the effects have been worse for disadvantaged groups such as low-income students, Black or Hispanic students and students with a disability. Widening achievement gaps in K-12 education are also appearing across the globe, with recent NAPLAN data identifying the same problem in Australia. 

The emerging crisis reveals an urgent need for intervention.

The issue seems to be linked to growing concerns around chronic absenteeism among K-12 students. In some areas, chronic absenteeism has risen to nearly 30%. Student attendance plays an important role in helping students achieve academic success. Poor school attendance rates can be particularly harmful for young students as it can result in a higher risk of dropping out. Evidence shows that often, disadvantaged students are the worst affected by this.  

chronic absenteeism in k-12

What Can Be Done? 

Student’s needs have to be met on a case-by-case basis and institutions need to do more to provide individualized support, specialists say. To do this, institutions should invest more in their resources for student success. Innovative technologies can improve student attendance rates and academic achievement by giving staff the tools they need to identify and intervene when students need support.  

Some of the top innovative practices assisting K-12 institutions today include: 

    • Student engagement analytics – Recognizing disengagement warning signs as soon as they appear. 
    • Student case management systems – Providing individualized support and interventions for students through one centralized system. With case management you can store important student background data and keep track of communications. As well as making wellbeing or academic support appointments and following case progression step-by-step. 

Using one, or all of these advanced solutions can help improve student attendance and engagement levels. In addition, this will boost academic performance and improve student retention, especially for at-risk students.  

For more, see our solutions page for K-12 institutions.