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Lessons from Hawaii Public Schools Daily Attendance Data

Three years of absences are analyzed by day of absence to discover patterns that might inform policy in Hawaii Public Schools
by

Dave Moyer

on 26 July 2013

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Transcript of Lessons from Hawaii Public Schools Daily Attendance Data

Lessons from Hawaii Public Schools Daily Attendance Data
There are revealing patterns in daily attendance data
How the calendar is structured matters
Absenteeism is high during weeks where there are three or less days of school.

Attendance varies
by the day of the week
How can the Hawaii Department of Education help?
Consider attendance when creating the school calendar
Avoid weeks with only two or three days of school (The 2013-14 calendar looks good on this count)

Embark on a communications campaign
Make clear that each day of attendance is associated with improved academic performance
Focus messages to parents and students about holiday planning and the need for attendance on days that have historically had low attendance rates
Absenteeism increases throughout the school year
The graph below illustrates how many students were absent on each day of the school year for the past three years.
Families
extend holidays and
long weekends
In some cases,
personal preferences
drive attendance
Monday has traditionally had high absenteeism, but last year Friday was the most common day for students to be absent.
Student absences increase each successive quarter until the fourth quarter when absences stabilize at third quarter levels.
Families and students seem to be more willing to miss school when extending an existing holiday.
Attendance around Halloween and Valentine's Day illustrates interesting behavior.
Why does reducing absenteeism matter?
Attending school has been shown to be associated with a wide variety of positive outcomes. The most important of which is that as students miss more school they become increasingly less likely to perform academically.
Mahalo
Dave Moyer
Data Fellow, Hawaii Department of Education
david_moyer@notes.k12.hi.us
(808) 681-2164
Please do not circulate without permission. For permission and other questions or comments:
Full transcript