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CMSD has a comprehensive new tool to spur school attendance



The ability of CMSD parents to monitor their child’s school attendance or get help dealing with a family crisis that adversely affects attendance just became a lot easier.  

In early January, the district unveiled an exciting new program called EveryDay Lab, which is a comprehensive attendance tracking software program. The program is designed to contact parents by telephone whenever a child begins to show patterns of excessive absences. 

If a student misses several consecutive days or is habitually absent, the EveryDay Lab program will call the student’s home to report the attendance issue. The call is straightforward. It informs the guardian that the student has missed so many days and that help, and resources are available if needed. The parent or caregiver is offered a menu of choices to consider – choices which are designed to address and hopefully resolve the problem of problematic or chronic absenteeism.  

If a parent says, for instance, that the problem is transportation, they will be transferred to a live agent who will determine community resources available to best help navigate transportation challenges. If the problem is more pressing, such as issues with hunger or health, the guardian will be instantly directed toward the appropriate agencies that are able to step-in and provide emergency care. 

“The benefits of the call are instant,” said Lorri Hobson, Director ADM/Attendance.  

“The call helps us to quickly identify underlying reasons why a student may not be attending school. It’s like a dipstick check. The call helps us check the oil and the engine.” 

Coming on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, CMSD officials knew that additional vigilance regarding attendance would prove crucial as students transitioned from remote learning to a return to classrooms. The district would need another tool in the attendance toolbelt. 

“This is that tool,” said Director Hobson. 

CMSD relaunched it’s Get To School, You Can Make It attendance campaign last September with a district-wide pep rally and inspirational speakers. Ever since then, the work of fighting truancy has continued unabated.

It is well-established science that school attendance is a far greater predictor of student success or failure than test scores or GPA. Carefully following a student’s attendance pattern can, with extreme reliability, predict which students will drop out and which will graduate. 

CMSD’s use of the EveryDay Lab technology is a creative effort to continue and build a strong safety net under vulnerable students. It is a multi-tiered approach to preventing and reducing chronic absenteeism. It will prove helpful to parents and caregivers in the quest to keep students from falling into destructive attendance patterns.