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School Districts

Address Chronic Absenteeism with Ed-Fi

Identify trends and intervene earlier with accurate, real-time attendance data.

Absences Have Long-Term Consequences

Chronic absenteeism is like compound interest. Students who are chronically absent, meaning they miss at least 15 days of school for any reason, are at serious risk of falling further and further behind academically and facing increasingly significant challenges year over year. Whether students miss critical early learning milestones like reading at grade level or instructional time during middle and high school, it greatly increases their likelihood of dropping out.

Students Are Chronically Absent

Recent national data indicates that over 7 million students missed 15 or more days of school.

More Likely to Drop Out

One year of chronic absenteeism between 8th and 12th grade results in a seven-fold increase in drop out likelihood.

Of K-1st Students are Chronically Absent

Chronically absent students are less likely to read at grade level by the third grade, increasing their risk of dropping out.

Kelly Staley

Chico Unified School District • Superintendent

"Our community has lived through catastrophic wildfires on top of the challenges associated with COVID. Understanding the physical as well as the academic, social and emotional needs of our families, continues to be a critical role for our school district. The standardization of our data has helped us to better assess and address the needs of our students, thus allowing us to get them the support they need."

Common Questions Before You Get Started

  • How much will this cost?

    All Ed-Fi technology and resources are available at no cost.

  • How much time will this take?

    We recommend starting with a prototype, or a test model, that will take a few hours to create. This will allow you to have a clickable solution with sample data, so you can visualize the tool and see how it would work in your own district. Pulling in your district’s data sets can take a longer to set up depending on multiple factors.

  • What district systems will be involved?

    The only source system you’ll need is your Student Information Systems (SIS).

  • Who (and what roles) should be involved?

    We recommend forming a core team of champions to solve this chronic absenteeism problem with data:

    – Program and Data Leads – Central office departments like Accountability or

    – Learning & Teaching Campus Leads – Principals and registrars or attendance staff

    – IT Leads – System administrators and SIS administrators

  • What district technology will I need?

    To get started with the Chronic Absenteeism sample application, you’ll need to be able to spin up a virtual machine (VM) on Amazon Web Services (AWS). You can request access to a temporary environment provided by Ed-Fi if needed to help you get started. To build out your test environment for your district and connect your own source system data to it, you’ll need your own computing infrastructure (on-premises or cloud-based) to deploy a database server and a web server. Detailed installation requirements are provided in the starter kit reference guide.

Get Started with Ed-Fi: Addressing Chronic Absenteeism

Use our step-by-step implementation guide to tackle absenteeism in your district. Our goal is to make implementing Ed-Fi as simple and straightforward as possible, so you can start seeing results and improving student outcomes right off the bat.

Option 1

Do It Yourself

Our Chronic Absenteeism Starter Kit provides a step-by-step guide for both technical and non-technical district leaders to use together. With the starter kit, you and your team can learn how to implement Ed-Fi specifically to address chronic absenteeism. The guide follows seven steps, summarized below, and includes an on-demand demonstration site that may be a good place to start.

Step 1

Try the Demo

Create an account and access the Chronic Absenteeism demonstration site. Use the walkthrough information provided to take a tour of the tool through the eyes of campus principal, a classroom teacher, or a district superintendent. 

Step 2

Setup the Virtual Machine

In this first step of the Quick Start Guide, you will download and set up a prepackaged virtual machine that contains the Chronic Absenteeism sample application and sample data. (If you can’t run a virtual machine in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Ed-Fi can help.)

Step 3

Explore the Starter Kit

Here you’ll follow the steps to explore and learn about the virtual machine you installed that hosts your Ed-Fi tools and your Chronic Absenteeism sample application with sample data.

Step 4

Install the Ed-Fi Solution

In this step of the Setup Guide, you will install all of the components of the Ed-Fi solution needed to create a test environment for your district in which to build your own chronic absenteeism solution.

Step 5

Load Test Data

In this step, you will configure your operational data store (ODS/API) with the Admin App tool you installed in the previous step, and then you will load your district’s data from your Student Information System (SIS) into it. 

Step 6

Install And Test Your Dashboard

In this step you will install, configure, and run the data visualizations included in the Chronic Absenteeism dashboard, populated by your district’s data sourced from the ODS/API you deployed in your test environment.

Step 7

Publish The Dashboard & Plan Your Rollout

Now that you have created a functioning test environment for your district’s chronic absenteeism solution, you will publish the dashboard in a release targeted to your internal test users, to have them login, view, use, and test the data visualizations. You will then be in a position to:

– Verify functionality and support from key systems
– Understand what resources and technical skills you need to support it
– Test this solution with your key audience in a pilot
– Plan and conduct a production rollout of your solution

Get the Starter Kit

Option 2

Working With Tech Vendors

Step 1

Education Technology Vendors

Vendors are an important part to bring the benefits of interoperability to your district. It is always a best practice to communicate early and often with all of your vendors that provide you with systems, like SIS and assessment vendors. Make sure these vendor-types are part of your planning process.

Step 2

System Integrators

While each school district is different and has varying in-house resources and timelines, some districts have had success by working with a system integrator that is familiar with Ed-Fi. In any instance, you will need to have a working understanding of the milestones and pre-work necessary for a successful implementation but a system integrator can help you along the way.

Contact us for a list of Systems Integrators that may be available to help you.

Step 3

Managed Hosting Providers

There are several vendors that now offer differentiated Ed-Fi software as a service (Saas) or Platform as a service (PaaS) offerings. These offerings range from implementing and onboarding your district, providing you with a platform experience with Ed-Fi native tools and value added tools they provide, technical support, analytics and data visualization capabilities, etc. Providers that have badged their solution offerings are published on the Ed-Fi Tech Docs site. Once you get an account you’ll have full access to this list.

Step 4

Cloud Providers

You may have the technical capability in-house to stand up your Ed-Fi implementation with the help of a cloud provider. All of the major cloud hosting platforms have templatized deployment options for deploying Ed-Fi technology tools that can help you get started fairly quickly. Including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, and Inteport via Azure Marketplace.

Contact Ed-Fi

Option 3

Share with a Colleague

Want to start your Ed-Fi journey but need to get other teammates involved? Send them an email with a link to this page to share this important information with them and start building your data team.

Send Email

We’re here to help.

The Ed-Fi team is standing by. Reach out to us at anytime.

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Sean Casey

Director, Vendor Partnerships