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Chronic Absenteeism Indicator FAQs

Frequently asked questions related to the California School Dashboard (Dashboard) Chronic Absenteeism.
Are transitional kindergarten (TK) students included in the chronic absenteeism rate?

Yes. Transitional kindergarten students are in their first year of a two-year Kindergarten program, and therefore are included in the enrollment counts for the K-8 chronic absenteeism rate.

I heard that students with ‘in-school’ suspensions are counted as absent in the chronic absenteeism rate. Is this true?

No. In-school suspensions are not counted as an absence. Only the following are counted as an absence and included in the numerator of the chronic absenteeism rate:

  • Excused Absence (In-Person)
  • Unexcused Absence (In-Person)
  • Out-of-School Suspension, and
  • Non-ADA-Generating Independent Study
The Dashboard is not showing chronic absenteeism data for all of my high schools. Is this an error?

No. Keep in mind that the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator is a K–8 indicator. Data are reported on the Dashboard for elementary and middle grades only. However, data on chronic absenteeism rates for all grades (K–12) are available on the DataQuest web page.

Are students in independent study included in the calculations for chronic absenteeism?

Yes. As long as the student meets the eligible enrollment rule (enrolled for at least 31 instructional days), the student is included in the denominator of the chronic absenteeism calculation. Any independent study student who has an absence rate of 10 percent or more (including non-ADA generating independent study days) is considered chronically absent and is also included in the numerator.

The student population (enrollment) numbers on my district’s Dashboard reflects 1,000 students. But the denominator for my district’s Chronic Absenteeism Rate Indicator displays 1,150 students. The denominator is a much higher count for the chronic absenteeism rate. Is this an error?

No. The student population data on the Dashboard (which includes enrollment) reflects the count of students on Fall Census Day. However, the denominator for the chronic absenteeism rate reflects the count of all students who were enrolled for at least 31 days at any time during the school year. This enrollment data is taken from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS) Student Enrollment (SENR) file. 

Does it make a difference whether my Local Education Agency (LEA) has an hourly or daily attendance in calculating the chronic absenteeism rate?

No. The chronic absenteeism indicator is calculated by using the count of expected instructional days and the count of days not attended. LEAs choose to report either daily or hourly attendance when they submit their attendance data.

Where can I access more information about the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator?
My school was closed because of heavy snowfall (or other natural disaster). Will all my students be counted as absent for the purposes of the chronic absenteeism indicator because of this?

No. The chronic absenteeism indicator uses “Expected Attendance Days” for its denominator. Expected Attendance Days are the total number of days a student was scheduled to attend. The days the school is closed are not included in the Expected Attendance Days calculation. The following are types of days that are included in the calculation for Expected Attendance Days. For information on these days please refer to the Technical Guide(DOCX):

  • Days Attended In-Person
  • Out of School Suspension
  • Days in Attendance In-School Suspension
  • Days Absent In-Person Excused
  • Days Absent In-Person Unexcused Non-Suspension
  • Non-ADA Generating Independent Study Days
  • ADA-Generating Independent Study Days
Can my district change the definition of what constitutes a chronically absent student?

No. A "chronic absentee" has been defined in Education Code Section 60901(c)(1) as "a pupil who is absent on 10 percent or more of the schooldays in the school year when the total number of days a pupil is absent is divided by the total number of days the pupil is enrolled and school was actually taught in the regular day schools of the district, exclusive of Saturdays and Sundays."

Did the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator’s cut scores change for the 2023 Dashboard?

No. The cut scores did not change for the Chronic Absenteeism Indicator for the 2023 Dashboard. For the current cut scores refer to Five-by-Five Colored Tables web page.


Questions: Analysis Measurement & Accountability Reporting | | 916-319-0863 
Last Reviewed: Friday, December 01, 2023
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