Understanding Who Is Missing and Why
During the shift to online learning in 2020, the disruption to students and families was nearly universal, but the causes—and effects—varied. It is now indisputable that there was a stretch of time when a shocking number of students did not attend school regularly, or at all. The work of the intervening years has been largely twofold: ensure that students reengage with learning and help them to get back on track with their academic progress.
Some kids who had disengaged from their schools came back as soon as the doors reopened. Others needed a bit more support to reengage, perhaps a few phone calls or a home visit from a school social worker. Still other students permanently transitioned to different learning environments—private schools or home schooling. But the evidence, as well as common sense, underscores the possibility that some students are still fully disconnected from learning.1 What can state boards of education do to support these students?
Also In this Issue
Targeted interventions and savvy classroom practices, coupled with supportive state policy, can draw disengaged students back in.
High schools are creating student success teams that prioritize relationships and leverage actionable data to reconnect students to school.
Connecticut's experience underscores the value of a positive, systemic approach to improving attendance.
Families need better data on students' academic progress; students need meaningful learning experiences and better information on postsecondary options.
When built around four key elements, academies deliver rigorous, relevant learning tied to students' career aspirations.
State leaders can ensure that more school staff are equipped to help children deal with the effects of trauma.