SDE: Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in Connecticut Schools

Reducing Chronic Absenteeism in Connecticut Schools

Every student "in school and engaged" every day!

In-school Suspensions

As of July 1, 2017, Public Act 17-14 removes any in-school suspension of a half day or more from the calculations of students absences done by local and regional boards of education, as per Circular Letter: C-1, Series 2017-18.  Students attending in-school suspension for more than one-half of the school day should no longer be marked as not in attendance or absent from school that day.

Connecticut’s Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow Campaign #attendtodayct

The Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow campaign is designed to provide districts, schools and community partners with resources and artwork with the Attend Today, Achieve Tomorrow slogan and design work.  A webpage,, with printable and downloadable resources is now available, including social media graphics, banners, badges and handouts for parents and others.  Many of the materials are in English and Spanish.  On this site, you will also find information on how mentoring can be used as an intervention strategy for chronic absenteeism in your schools.

Districts and schools can also share their attendance success story, post your activities on a national map and have their district join the national “Superintendents Call to Action” and be recognized in the fall for their commitment to reducing chronic absence!

Reducing Chronic Absence in Connecticut's Schools: 
A Prevention and Intervention Guide for Schools and Districts

Governor Malloy and Commissioner Wentzell Release State Guide to Help School Districts in their Efforts to Further Reduce Chronic Absenteeism and Increase Attendance

Webinar: Reducing Chronic Absence in Connecticut's Schools, May 31, 2017

Enrollment Process and Practice Guidance for Connecticut Schools Districts  

State Department of Education Announces Decrease in Chronic Absenteeism Rate, November 2, 2016 
The number of chronically absent students in Connecticut dropped to 9.6 percent in 2015-16, down from 10.6 percent the year before and down from a high of 11.5 percent in 2012-13.  The decline in Connecticut's chronic absenteeism rate means that over 10,000 more students are attending school on a daily basis than four years ago.  This is a sign that collaborative efforts to keeps students across Connecticut in school and engaged are having a positive impact.  Read more in the press release.  Download updated chronic absenteeism trend data on the data portal, EdSight.
State Board of Education Presentation, November 2, 2016
What is Chronic Absence?
Chronic absence is defined as missing 10 percent, or more, of school days for any reason, including excused, unexcused and disciplinary absences.  For example, children who are enrolled for the full school year (e.g., 180 days) become chronically absent if they miss at least 18 days of school for any reason.  Learn more about the difference between excused and unexcused absences and best practices for reducing chronic absenteeism in the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) guidance document.

Learn more:
What are some strategies to reduce chronic absence?
Improving and sustaining good attendance requires the active engagement of district and school-based leaders and administrators along with a clear articulation of roles and responsibilities.  Successful strategies include forming district and school attendance teams, analyzing data, identifying trends and factors contributing to chronic absence, and implementing a multi-tiered approach to reducing chronic absence.  See resources below.

A chronic absence guidance document is in development and will be released later this spring.  Watch for its release!

Read what is working in Connecticut districts:
Student Attendance Reporting in the Public School Information System (PSIS)
The CSDE Performance Office provides guidance and offers technical assistance on reporting student attendance and the analysis of all student attendance measures.  Helpful resources can be found on the PSIS Public Help Site, under Student Attendance Reporting.  Please contact Marquelle Middleton at 860-713-6877 or for reporting assistance.

Next Generation Accountability System
Chronic absence is Indicator 4 in the Connecticut State Department of Education's Next Generation Accountability System.  The chronic absence indicator is applicable to all districts and schools with at least one grade between K and 12, inclusive.  Reports and guidance for districts and schools are available on the CSDE Performance and Accountability Web page

Leadership Committees Addressing Chronic Absence
Connecticut Resources
National Resources
For more information:

Resources, Strategies, and Best Practices
Kari Sullivan
Phone:  860-807-2041

Data Collection and Reporting
Marquelle Middleton
Phone:  860-713-6877

Content Last Modified on 1/16/2018 8:59:14 AM