SSS

Student Support Services

Verification and Certification of 2016-17 School Year Chronic Absenteeism Data in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS)

                                                                                                   May 16, 2017

To:                      BOCES District Superintendents

Superintendents of Public School Districts Outside NYC

Charter School Leaders

From:                   RenĂ©e L. Rider 

Subject:             Verification and Certification of 2016-17 School Year Chronic Absenteeism Data in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS)

This memo is a follow-up to the May 2016 memorandum regarding new verification reports available to schools and districts reporting attendance data in the Student Information Repository System (SIRS).  The chronic absenteeism reports made available in Spring 2016 in the Level 2 Reporting system (L2RPT), identify students who are chronically absent, or at-risk of becoming chronically absent, using daily attendance and school calendar data reported by public school districts and charter schools in SIRS.  Additional information about the data included in the SIRS 360, 361, and 370 verification reports is available in the Report Guide (pdf icon 264 KB) for the reports, and in the 2016-17 school year data reporting memo that was distributed on November 1, 2016. 

The reports were made available to schools and districts as part of a new statewide initiative to promote student engagement and increase student achievement by encouraging school personnel to monitor student absenteeism and develop intervention strategies to reduce chronic absence from school.  Chronic absence from school, defined as missing at least ten percent of enrolled school days, warrants our urgent attention because the connection between instructional time and achievement is well established as key to student success.  There is extensive research regarding absenteeism that indicates missing ten percent of school days tends to be the ‘tipping point’ when student achievement declines. (1)

Submitting accurate attendance data is critical to producing accurate chronic absenteeism data.  The U.S. Department of Education (USDOE) is requiring that the New York State Education Department (NYSED) report school-level chronic absenteeism data by student subgroup to the USDOE as part of our annual EdFacts submission for the 2016-17 school year.  We also note that the draft Every Student Succeeds Act plan released for public comment on May 8, 2017 by the NYSED,(2) proposes that chronic absenteeism be used as a measure of School Quality and Student Success for purposes of school and district accountability beginning with the 2017-18 school year data.  Consequently, the 2016-17 school year data will serve as a baseline for school and district accountability performance. Therefore, the NYSED is requiring superintendents of public school districts (outside NYC) and all charter school leaders to certify the accuracy of the 2016-17 school year chronic absenteeism data in the SIRS 360, 361, and 370 Verification Reports in L2RPT as of the data collection deadline, August 25, 2017.

Clearly, having students in school for instruction is a fundamental first step to helping students achieve.  When students stop being chronically absent, they are more likely to improve academically and stay in school.  Successful intervention strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism require early identification of students who are chronically absent, or at-risk of becoming chronically absent.  The year-to-date chronic absenteeism reports are available so that all schools have access to a uniform method of identifying students who are academically at risk because of excessive absence.

Please take a moment to visit the websites below for additional information and resources to help reduce student absenteeism and increase student and family engagement in school.

We look forward to continuing to work with you on this important initiative.  If you have questions or concerns about this initiative, please contact Student Support Services at (518) 486-6090 or StudentSupportServices@nysed.gov.   If you have questions or concerns about the data in the reports or in SIRS, please contact your Regional Information Center or Big 5 Data Coordinator, or you may contact the Office of Information and Reporting Services at datasupport@nysed.gov.


1. Balfanz, Robert and Byrnes, Vaughan, Chronic Absenteeism: Summarizing What We Know From Nationally Available Data, Johns Hopkins University Center for Social Organization of Schools, May 2012  

2. New York State's Draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan Summary, New York State's Draft Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan

 

 

Last Updated: June 26, 2017