Covering Student Absenteeism in the COVID-19 Era


Learning in the pandemic has its challenges, but for a lot of students the problem is more fundamental: They are missing out on school altogether this fall, or showing up sporadically.

Schools that have opted for virtual learning are struggling to get every student connected online and consistently in class. Recent news coverage in Chicago, Detroit, and elsewhere has highlighted thousands of students missing from online classes, though intensive outreach has helped reduce the problem.

Those districts offering in-person or hybrid learning may also be struggling to maintain high attendance rates while balancing the desire for in-person learning with efforts to mitigate potential outbreaks.

For education journalists, there are important stories to tell in virtually every community. This Education Writers Association webinar provides insights and advice to help you execute those stories. For example, you’ll gain a better understanding of the inconsistencies and uncertainties in state tracking guidelines and local attendance measures.

Low attendance and the accompanying inequities and learning loss could have implications that reach far beyond the 2020-21 school year. This webinar will help journalists to ask the right questions, unpack the numbers, and help explain the implications for communities.

You can download the Attendance Works Presentation here:

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This webinar was presented on October 2, 2020.