Chronic Absenteeism

During the 2022-2023 school year, 69,000 students or 22% of Nebraska students were chronically absent. Chronic absence disproportionately affects students with disabilities, students of color, and students who are economically disadvantaged. Chronic absence also affects students in early grades and those in later grades.

Chronic absence is defined as missing 10% of a child’s time in membership. It counts all absences: excused, unexcused, and suspensions. Most importantly, chronic absence emphasizes the academic impact of the missed days.

Below are some communication resources to support leaders, teachers, and parents.

Visit for more resources to support you in identifying potential root causes, strategies and evidence-based interventions to address chronic absenteeism in your school community.

The foundational, whole school supports that promote positive learning conditions include:

Tier 1, universal supports available to all students should include:

  • Clear, concise and consistent communication about schedules and expectations
  • Routines, rituals and celebrations related to attendance, improvement, and engagement
  • Personalized positive communication to families when students are absent
  • Impact of attendance on whole child widely understood
  • Connection to a caring adult in the school

Tier 2, early intervention supports, to support those students who are moderately chronically absent (students missing 10-19% of school), include:

  • Common community and school barriers identified and addressed
  • Individualized student success plan that includes attention to attendance
  • Family visits
  • Staff and peer mentors
  • Restorative alternatives to discipline and suspension

The Tier 3 intensive interventions, recommended for those students who are severely chronically absent (students missing 20% or more of school) include:

  • Educational support champions/advocates
  • Interagency case management
  • Student attendance review board
  • Individualized learning and success plan leading to graduation
  • Legal Intervention (as a last resort)

A Tiered Approach to Addressing Chronic Absenteeism

Updated September 7, 2023 4:39pm