Maine is now required to report Chronic Absenteeism. This information will also be used by our Every Student Succeeds Act team (ESSA). A student is considered absent if that student is present for less than 50% of his or her instructional day. A student is either considered absent or present for any given day. Less than half is counted as zero; half or more are counted as one. A student is considered chronically absent if a student is absent 10% or more of the days enrolled and is enrolled for a minimum of ten days.
Most students have an instructional day that is defined by the school’s daily schedule, but there may be students for whom this is not the case. For example, a high school senior taking only two classes might have a full instructional day of 3 hours. That student would be absent if present for fewer than 1.5 hours. Your schools may also have specific attendance policies that address the completion of instructional activities off-campus (e.g., distance education, community projects).
Attendance data must be reported in quarterly segments for each student. The data elements reported are as follows: Quarter, daysEnrolled, daysPresent, daysExcusedAbsences, and QuarterDays.
Quarter: The quarter in which the attendance record applies.
- (Q1) Quarter 1: First Day of School through 9/30
- (Q2) Quarter 2: 10/1 through 12/31
- (Q3) Quarter 3: 1/1 through 3/13 (amended due to COVID-19)
- (Q4) Quarter 4: 4/1 through Last Day of School
daysEnrolled: (whole number only. Decimals not allowed). This is the number of active instructional days that the student has been in enrolled in the specific quarter. Holidays, in-service days, and days that the school is closed for inclement weather would not be included.
Chapter 209, Part 3, Section 4801
daysPresent: (whole number only. Decimals not allowed). For each student, report the total number of days this student was in attendance in the specific quarter at least 50% or more of the student’s scheduled school day. Only whole numbers are accepted. If a student was present 50% or more of their school day, that day is counted as being in attendance. If less than 50% of the scheduled school day, that day is counted as being absent. Students should NOT be counted absent when participating in sanctioned school activities that cause them to miss classroom instruction (e.g. field trips, school sports team activities)
ExcusedAbsences: (whole number only. Decimals not allowed) For each student, report the number of days this student was counted as having an excused absence in the specific quarter. Excused absences are defined in
Chapter 119, Subchapter 2-A, Section 3272,3.
Quarter Days: Number of active instructional days that school has been in session during the quarter. Must be equal to or greater than "Days Enrolled" and Cannot exceed 91.
Chronic Absenteeism is one of the areas which determines school accountability. A student is defined as being chronically absent if the student is enrolled a minimum of 10 days (60 days for correctional facilities) and absent 10% or more of the days enrolled. All absences (excused and unexcused) are used to make this determination. Excused absences are only used to determine if the student should also be deemed truant.
Reporting Attendance Data
Schools are encouraged to upload their attendance data to the MDOE as frequently as possible. At a minimum, please upload this data quarterly:
- As of Oct 1 (to include July, August, September) – due Oct 15
- As of Jan 1 (to include October through December) – due Jan 15
- As of April 1 (to include January through March) – due April 15
- As of July 1 (to include April through June) – due July 7 (end-of-year data)
Please note that each quarterly attendance report needs to be certified by the superintendent.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who should Upload/Manually enter attendance data?
All Public Schools, 60% Publicly Funded Private Schools, Special Purpose Private Schools (SPPS) and Regional Programs.
Schools maintaining the student's primary enrollment should not send attendance data while students are actively enrolled in the SPPS or Regional Programs. If the sending districts have already sent attendance data they are to resubmit zeros for the days the students were actively enrolled in the SPPS or Regional Program
Why are private schools being asked to report attendance data?
Student level attendance data is now being collected due to the new ESSA requirements related to Chronic Absenteeism. Chronic Absenteeism is being used for school level accountability for public schools. However, Chronic Absenteeism data will also be used for district level report cards. These report cards are also a requirement of ESSA and will reflect attendance data for all students for which a public district is responsible for. Therefore, if a student is attending an out of district private school at public expense, the attendance data for those students will be reflected on the sending district’s report card. Section 2952 states that private schools receiving state funds shall report to the commissioner the information the commissioner may require.
How do I manually add/modify a student’s attendance data directly in DOE Synergy?
Instructions for manually entering attendance data (Choose the “Attendance manual entry guide” under Synergy manual entry)
What students should be reported in this file?
Include all students enrolled at least one day in grades pre-K through grade 12, however, only students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 12 will be used to determine Chronic Absenteeism.
What days are included in the 10%?
Include all students in your uploaded file including those enrolled less than 10 days of enrollment. Chronic Absenteeism will only be calculated on those who were enrolled in the school for at least 10 school days at any time during the school year, and who missed 10% of the school days in which they were enrolled in the school
Is there a minimum number of days a student has to be enrolled before they are counted as chronically absent?
All attendance data should be reported for all students however students must be enrolled a minimum of 10 days before being deemed chronically absent.
Should state institutions be counted in this file?
Juvenile Correctional Facilities must also report attendance data for all students that have been committed to the institution. For Juvenile Correctional Facilities, students are not deemed Chronically Absent unless they are enrolled a minimum of 60 days and are absent 10% or more of the days enrolled. Students who are only being detained at the correctional facility, are still the responsibility of the resident district and should remain enrolled at the resident district and counted as absent until the student has been adjudicated and committed to the institution.
Do students who are late arriving at school (“tardies”) count as absences?
Only students who miss 50% or more of a school day should be counted as absent. The definition of “tardy” is defined below.
What is the definition of absent?
In accordance with the Office for Civil Rights’ guidance, a student is absent if he or she is not physically on school grounds and is not participating in instruction or instruction-related activities at an approved off-grounds location for at least 50% of the student’s scheduled school day. Chronically absent students include students who are absent for any reason (e.g., illness, suspension, the need to care for a family member), regardless of whether absences are excused or unexcused.
What is the definition of Tardy?
A student who is absent for less than 50 percent of the school day.
Each of these sections display the following data in aggregate at the school level:
Attending District: this is the name of the district of the attending school. The school where the student attends.
Attending School: This is the name of the school where the student attends.
Total Days Enrolled: This is the total number of aggregate days each student was enrolled for the quarter. If a student was enrolled at two different schools the number of days enrolled at each school are reported for each school. (whole number only. Decimals not allowed)
Total Days Present: This is the total number of aggregate days each student was present at least 50% or more of the student’s scheduled school day for the quarter. (whole number only. Decimals not allowed)
Number Excluded (E): This is the total number of students excluded from the Chronic Absenteeism calculation. Students in pre-K (grades PR or PK) are excluded as well as students with a total membership of less than 10 days with a school in a school year. If a student has more than one enrollment with the same school (the student leaves and comes back) within a school year and one or more of those enrollments are less than 10 days but the total of all these enrollments total 10 days or more, the student is included in the calculation. (whole number only. Decimals not allowed)
Total Number of Students: this is the total number of students that were enrolled at least one day or more per school per school year.
Number of Chronically Absent Students: this is the number of individual students that have been deemed Chronically Absent reported in aggregate per school per school year. Students what had been excluded from the calculation based on the Number Excluded (E) definition above were excluded from this count no matter if they were absent 10% or more of the days enrolled.
Percent of student body Chronically Absent: This is the Number of Chronically Absent Students divided by the Total Number of Students
Navigation: by clicking on Student details for each of the Attending Schools, you can see which students were included in these aggregate counts.
IMPORTANT: In order to properly validate this data, it is necessary that each of the Student Detail links are opened and validated before certification should be submitted. In addition to making sure the total year-end data is included, you should also look to make sure there are no NULL values for daysEnrolled or daysPresent for any student listed. If there are, you will not be able to certify.