Ready by 21 Dashboard

Outcome: Socially and Civically Engaged

School Attendance

Attendance rates generally stable

Significance of Indicator: Student attendance rates are a critical factor that distinguishes high school dropouts from others who do not drop out of school. Additionally, student attendance rates determine the funding school districts receive from the state and determine whether elementary and middle schools meet the federal requirement for Adequate Yearly Progress.

How we are doing on this Indicator: Attendance rates remain generally stable for school districts in Travis County, with Del Valle ISD seeing the largest improvement from 94.2% in the 2002-2003 school year to 95.5% in the 2011-2012 school year.

what the data tell us

Definition: Attendance rates are based on student attendance for the entire school year. Only students in grades 1-12 are included in the calculations. Attendance is calculated as follows: total number of days students were present divided by total number of days students were in membership.

Data Source: Academic Excellence Indicator System (AEIS), Texas Education Agency

Data Considerations: Attendance rates lag for reporting purposes.

The story behind the data

Research suggests that student school attendance matters for multiple measures of student achievement and it matters early on. (see http://www.attendanceworks.org/research/ for research on student attendance rates). Austin ISD attendance rates remained relatively stable over the past four school years, but increased emphasis on the importance of student attendance rates may result in improvements for 2010-2011 and beyond.

Local efforts to improve the indicator

In September 2010, a Joint Subcommittee, consisting of Austin ISD, Travis County, and the City of Austin, hosted over eighty participants at the Goodwill Training Center for the "Connecting the Dots" Summit.  The goal of this summit was to create a student-centric, seamless system to significantly reduce dropout and truancy rates in order to increase graduation rates.  In order to achieve this goal, the Summit focused on three objectives:

Since then, representatives from each participating organization have laid the foundation for accomplishing these objectives. Austin ISD has developed the online Daily Attend-o-Meter with real-time current and historical attendance data by school, and the district has begun work to develop a comprehensive student case management system which eventually will support integrated case management across the district, the City of Austin, and Travis County.

A closer look at the data

Click any of the section titles below to view related graph and information.

contributors for this indicator

The Joint Subcommittee of the City of Austin, Travis County, and Austin Independent School District, and especially Dr. Lisa Schmitt, Austin ISD and Maria Allen, City of Austin.