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?


Understanding Who Is Missing and Why





Also In this Issue

Getting Students Engaged in Learning

By Jennifer A. Fredricks

Targeted interventions and savvy classroom practices, coupled with supportive state policy, can draw disengaged students back in.





Centering School Connectedness

By Robert Balfanz

High schools are creating student success teams that prioritize relationships and leverage actionable data to reconnect students to school.





Chronic Absence: A Call for Deeper Student and Family Engagement

By Hedy Chang

Connecticut's experience underscores the value of a positive, systemic approach to improving attendance.





Understanding Who Is Missing and Why

By Hailly T.N. Korman

The pandemic only magnified chronic absence among students with the greatest needs and made the problem harder to ignore.






How State Leaders Can Stand Up for the COVID Generation of High Schoolers

By Robin Lake and Travis Pillow

Families need better data on students' academic progress; students need meaningful learning experiences and better information on postsecondary options.





Reengaging High School Students through Career Academies

By Edward C. Fletcher Jr.

When built around four key elements, academies deliver rigorous, relevant learning tied to students' career aspirations.





Trauma-Informed Practices: A Whole-School Policy Framework

By Janet VanLone and Nicole Reddig

State leaders can ensure that more school staff are equipped to help children deal with the effects of trauma.







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Six Questions to Advance Media Literacy and Digital Citizenship

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