According to the U.S. Department of Education, over 7 Million students missed 15 or more days of school, that represents about 1 in every 6 students. Not surprisingly, children who are chronically absent are much less likely to read at grade level by the third grade, eventually becoming 4x more likely to drop out of high school.

While these are alarming statistics, they underscore what many education leaders already know; chronic absenteeism is a gateway problem that manifests into a myriad of other academic, behavior and social issues making vulnerable students further at-risk of dropping out or worse outcomes.

“If we can solve chronic absenteesim, we have a jump start on solving a multitude of other entrenched problems that can put students at risk” says Sean Casey, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at Ed-Fi Alliance. “Having attendance information immediately is the best way to catch the problem before it starts. The challenge is that the old way of taking attendance did not provide real-time information for teachers and administrators.”

The first step to solving this challenge is creating a flexible and modern IT architecture that can provide accurate, real-time data to the educators that are best positioned to act on it. SFUSD partnered with ed tech leader, Innive, Inc to bring multiple sources systems of data together in order to present a real-time, complete picture of a student.  Innive helped the district deploy the Ed-Fi Data Standard and Technology Tools; pulling in the Ed-Fi Operational Data Store (ODS) / API managed platform which provides  a simple, cost-effective way of connecting and maintaining multiple systems, helping the district  turn attendance data into a powerful tool for Principals and school leaders.

San Francisco United School District’s goal was to make the data they were already collecting more useful and accessible in order to drive classroom improvements. The technology approach adopted by Innive and the district was to create intuitive data visualizations that consume the information from the Ed-Fi ODS securely and provide insights back to the Principals in a new way, empowering them to make better strategic and operational decisions related to attendance. The solution provides attendance reporting at the granularity of every day while also summarizing the reports at a weekly or monthly level for higher-level decision making. Principals can now view long-term attendance trends and proactively identify students who are at risk of being chronically absent.

The data visualizations have inspired critical problem solving and experimentation at SFUSD to help lower critical absenteeism. Being able to drill down to the student level allows administrators to view the attendance pattern of the student to evaluate if it was a trend or a unique scenario. In addition to multiple data filters and pre-built lists, the solution provides all necessary information to proactively identify students or groups that require interventions leading them towards higher attendance and ultimately improved academic outcomes.

“Equipped with real-time data, principals are now empowered to create a school-wide culture of attendance, use Average Daily Attendance to track students with poor attendance records and determine the need for additional support,” said Sean Casey, Manager of Strategic Partnership at Ed-Fi Alliance “Our new system also  enables our staff to promote and  adopt effective attendance practices, and gives them the data sets that can inform new, more successful attendance policies going forward.”

The Ed-Fi Alliance and its partners like Innive Inc. can help districts solve chronic absenteeism with real-time, comprehensive data and intuitive data visualizations. There are a number of resources that you can access to learn more about SFUSD’s solution, how interoperability and data visualization solutions provided by Innive Inc. can be a game-changer for your district. Read more here:

Ed-Fi Community Resources
If you are interested in learning more about how to solve chronic absenteeism with connected data, check out the resources below.

About SFUSD:

San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) is the seventh-largest school district in California, educating over 57,000 students every year. San Francisco is both a city and a county; therefore, SFUSD administers both the school district and the San Francisco County Office of Education (COE). This makes SFUSD a “single district county.”

About Innive Inc.:

Innive believes in empowering organizations by providing insight that goes beyond the data. Innive K12 360⁰ solutions aggregate and harmonize data from various district systems and transform them into clear and concise analysis that education leaders can access on-demand via user-friendly, intuitive visualizations. Designed with educators and students in mind, the solution’s actionable insights are tied to resource and intervention recommendations, enabling real-time continued improvement and student success.


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