Using Evidence-Based Solutions to Reduce Absenteeism


The U.S. Department of Education has referred to chronic absenteeism as a hidden educational crisis. That’s because chronic absenteeism, defined as 15 or more days missed in a school year, is actually a predictor for student learning outcomes, student success and even well-being in adulthood. 

COVID-19 has redefined classrooms, district resources are tight and teachers need to be laser-focused on instruction. Mobilizing families as a support system for engagement and attendance is more critical than ever.

In this webinar, learn how to take a nuanced approach to understanding chronic absenteeism. Panelists will discuss actionable steps school and district leaders can take to manage chronic absenteeism across different learning scenarios as students return to school after shelter in place orders.  

You'll also learn more about:

  • Leveraging evidence-based strategies to impact attendance at scale
  • Improving attendance as schools and districts address COVID-19 concerns
  • Using data to uncover the root causes of chronic absence
  • Steering away from common assumptions about chronic absenteeism
  • Implementing a tiered approach vs “one strategy fits all”

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Date: Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Time: 11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

Duration: 1 hour

Meet Our Panelists

Digital Project and Operations Manager, EdSurge

Liana is part of the EdSurge Solutions Studio team. Previously, she was a researcher on youth and politics at USC, Community Manager at Connected Camps, and Program Associate at the National Writing Project. She is also a published author and holds a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Host: Liana Gamber-Thompson

CEO, Oakland Natives Give Back Fund, Inc.

Nyeisha founded Oakland Natives Give Back Fund, Inc., in 2008 to exemplify an evolved concept of philanthropy and raise awareness around the importance of daily attendance. Her unique background and personal journey uncovered the greatest crack in the foundation of a child’s success: chronic absenteeism and has given her the ability to see it from a multitude of perspectives. She is a high school dropout, an educator, a mother of children with unique learning abilities, and a funder who is using out-of-the-box thinking to research solutions and combat this national crisis. Since inception, ONGB has invested nearly $7M in resources toward that end. She holds a B.A. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and her Master’s in teaching and doctoral degree in organization and leadership in education from the University of San Francisco.

Nyeisha DeWitt

CEO & Founder, AllHere

Joanna works in the education technology space to support school and district leaders to improve learning and life outcomes for K-12 students. She founded AllHere as CEO. The startup software company built a Chronic Absenteeism Campaign System at the Harvard University Innovation Lab and began partnering with schools soon after. AllHere currently serves K-12 students, student services professionals and reduced thousands of student absences in the school year across the U.S. Prior to founding AllHere, Joanna served as manager of a school’s family engagement initiatives and was the research associate of the Redesign Lab, the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s K-12 national education reform division. 


Joanna Smith

Mental Health Services Coordinator for Sacramento County Office of Education, Sacramento, California

Before relocating to the west coast, Dr. Chris Williams was a founder and Executive Vice President of P2L: Pathways to Leadership and Vice President of Social Emotional Learning for The Leadership Program, both in New York City. Chris’ work centers on students at risk of dropping out, focusing on altering the trajectory of their lives. Chris holds an MSW from NYU and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from Harvard. He has taught at Columbia University, NYU, and Harvard where he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching distinction.


Christopher Williams

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