Skip Navigation
archived information

Data visualization can help educators address chronic absence

Nationwide, about K–12 students — almost 1 in 6 — are chronically absent from school. Education leaders are striving to address this pressing issue, as chronic absence is associated with a range of negative student outcomes. But chronically absent students are a diverse group, with many different reasons for missing school, so it can be challenging to know with whom and how to intervene.

A new infographic from REL West, Data visualization can help educators address chronic absence, shows how displaying various data graphically can help educators more easily identify attendance patterns and groups of students who are chronically absent. The infographic provides examples of data visualizations using bar charts, line graphs, and maps, explaining what the chronic absence data reveal and offering possible next steps for school and district leaders.

School and district leaders can start by disaggregating absence rates in multiple ways, such as by school, grade level, class period, teacher or subject, student demographics, English learner and special education status, geographic location, time of year, and severity of absenteeism. Once educators use the data visualizations to gain a better understanding of the specific issues in their school community, they can more effectively prioritize interventions to support chronically absent students.