Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Susan Schultz

Second Supervisor

Ruth Harris

Abstract

Student attendance is one of the most important steps to a student’s academic success. Student absenteeism is defined as a student missing 20 or more school days within one academic school year. When students miss school on a consistent basis, they are identified as chronically absent. Chronic absenteeism can lead to a wide variety of issues ranging from tobacco use to alcohol consumption to substance abuse. This study investigated the root causes that impact student attendance in an urban elementary school district from parents’ perspectives. Using qualitative methods, interviews were conducted with parents of students who attended schools within a city school district. They provided insight into both the obstacles and solutions that families face regarding attendance. Findings revealed several hindrances and solutions that school districts may want to consider when seeking to improve their daily student attendance rates. Barriers that parents revealed were lack of transportation support and lack of knowing how to access resources and childcare before and after school. Solutions that parents consistently reported were additional transportation support, increased parental involvement, and enhanced communication between home and school. Recommended future studies would include interviewing parents whose child has poor daily attendance rates from the same school but from single-parent households to compare their responses to two-parent households in order to identify the barriers and potential solutions for both groups. The findings would provide districts with a better vii understanding of the needs to remedying student attendance issues from both types of households.

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