School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Leldon Nichols


Attendance, Truancy, School Refusal Behavior, Absenteeism, Compulsory Education


Education | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this applied study was to solve the problem of low student attendance for two elementary schools in southwest Mississippi by reviewing interventions designed to improve average daily attendance among elementary students. This study sought to review previous interventions and determine which initiatives worked to improve student attendance using qualitative and quantitative methods. Qualitative methods such as interviews and document analysis were conducted with staff and administrators who work within the school district, ensuring attendance regulations are being met. Their responses, along with a review of related literature, provided insights into recent initiatives undertaken to address attendance issues. Quantitative methods, specifically a teacher survey, was designed based on themes resulting from the literature review. This feedback helped to place the problem of attendance in perspective and was used as a baseline measure to determine if previous initiatives had any impact on student attendance rates. A search of the literature indicated that numerous studies address the causes of student absences, absenteeism, and truancy, yet there is limited data that addressed what schools are or are not doing to combat the increasing problem of excessive absences in the elementary grades. Data gathered from semi-structured interviews, surveys, and document analysis provided a basis for remedying this problem. Using indicators obtained from research data may provide school districts with a starting point in which to develop or improve existing strategies for improving attendance at the elementary grades.