Wanting to tackle its chronic absenteeism rate, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) is developing a new early warning dashboard which will help educators identify students who may be at risk of not graduating and help schools direct resources accordingly.
The IDOE noted during a State Board of Education meeting earlier this month that the dashboard is currently in the request for proposal stage.
Once developed, the dashboard will target, among other risk factors, students at risk of chronic absenteeism. Chronic absenteeism indicates a student missing at least 10 percent of school days – or about three and a half weeks. The state’s chronic absenteeism rate for the 2022-2023 school year was 19.3 percent, which is eight percent higher than it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The early warning dashboard will provide actionable data for educators and families to support the students most at risk of not graduating. For purposes of the dashboard, at risk is defined as having less than an 80 percent chance of graduating on time using historical data. Attendance will be one of several indicators of high importance that will be used in determining which students are considered at risk.
The state explained that once the dashboard is fully developed, educators will be able to see which students are at risk and why. IDOE noted that data will help determine specific areas of difficulty for students and allow educators to guide additional, timely instruction and support in response. Educators will also be able to export individual indicators and profiles to guide increased discussion and engagement with families.
In a board meeting presentation, IDOE highlighted a handful of indicators that will be of “high importance” for the new dashboard. In addition to attendance, the dashboard will also place a high priority on advanced coursework (AP and/or dual-credit classes), grades, disciplinary actions, high school credits earned, and performance on state assessments.
IDOE anticipates piloting the new early warning dashboard in a number of schools during the 2023-2024 school year, with the dashboard becoming accessible to all schools during the 2024-2025 school year.