National Early Warning System and Chronic Absenteeism Reduction

Project Overview

Insight manages the National Students Attendance, Engagement, and Success Center on behalf of the Department of Education’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education. The center’s goal is to build state, district, and school capacity to implement Early warning systems to identify at-risk students and use data from these and other systems to identify and implement comprehensive strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism. The center’s work is national in scope, with 36 states and the District of Columbia using chronic absenteeism as a metric in their accountability plans related to the Every Student Succeeds Act. All schools nationwide are required to report chronic absence data on their school report cards.

Working with a team of subject matter experts, Insight fosters capacity-building efforts using a tiered approach that incorporates human-centered design with intensive one-on-one engagements, targeted TA for groups of stakeholders with common needs, universal TA resources made available to all interested stakeholders, and a national convening on chronic absenteeism. The tiered approach enables the center to support states, districts, and schools based on their readiness to benefit and ability to focus on implementation with regard to staff, time and resources, and areas of need.

In FY 2020 Insight conducted a national needs assessment of states, school districts, and schools to identify high-priority technical assistance (TA) needs. TA topics included the implementation of evidence-based programs such as early warning systems to address chronic absenteeism, improvements to the collection and analysis of school attendance data, policy and systems change efforts, and financing strategies to support work on chronic absenteeism from the state to local level. Insight will use the results of the needs assessment to inform the delivery of TA to states, school systems, and schools over the next 5 years.


TA materials; webinars; needs assessment; process maps; infographics; social media; written reports; oral briefings