Principal's Perspective of the Implementation of Interventions and Strategies to decrease Chronic Absenteeism in One Virginia Urban School Division

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Virginia Tech


Chronic absenteeism is a growing concern nationwide. Millions of students are absent from school, with the number summing to one month's worth of absences per student per year. As a result of Every Student Succeed Act (ESSA), many states have included chronic absenteeism as part of their school quality indicator. For the 2018-2019 school year, attendance was included in standards of accreditation. Reducing chronic absenteeism has long been a goal for many public principals at each grade level nationwide. The purpose of this study was to identify what interventions and strategies principals were implementing to decrease chronic absenteeism. This study further identified principals' perceptions of the interventions and strategies with the greatest and least effect on decreasing chronic absenteeism. A qualitative research design was used with semi-structured interviews to determine principals' perceptions of interventions and strategies to decrease chronic absenteeism. Participants were principals from secondary schools in one urban school district, located in the Southeastern region of Virginia.

Findings from the research revealed that principals in this district are implementing interventions and strategies that include: positive behavioral interventions and supports, parent contacts, community partnerships, district supports, and professional development to decrease chronic absenteeism. The findings also suggested that interventions and strategies that help build relationships between the school, students, and parents are being most effective in decreasing chronic absenteeism in this district. Implications for continued decrease in chronic absenteeism at all level of practice are recommended and suggestions for future research



Chronic absenteeism, dropout, school quality indicator, interventions, strategies