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Empty Desks and Rising Absenteeism: How Progress Learning Can Help



Have you noticed more empty desks in your classroom lately? You’re not alone. Schools across the country have been dealing with rising rates of absenteeism ever since the Covid-19 pandemic started.

According to state data, during the 2022-2023 year, nearly 10% of K-12 students were completely absent and 25% were chronically absent, meaning they missed at least three and a half weeks of school. This is a far cry from the pre-pandemic attendance rates.

The reason behind this trend is unclear. Some experts, including The New York Times, suggest that this might be an unexpected side effect of the pandemic. Parents and students are no longer in the habit of going to school every day and feel like attendance has become optional.

Whatever the reason, this trend is alarming. Students are still struggling to catch up on what they missed during the pandemic, and the rise in absenteeism isn’t helping. It’s also not helping with the achievement gap and is hitting disadvantaged and low-income students the hardest.  

Despite all this, there is good news. We’ve got a solution that can help teachers keep their students engaged in their learning and close the gaps they’re seeing in the classroom.

Keeping Students Engaged

At Progress Learning, we know that the key to combating absenteeism is keeping students engaged. Our software is designed to follow students as they progress on their K-12 journey, ensuring that they remain engaged and motivated every day. At the elementary level, we offer fun rewards like Alien Ranking Cards and short games they can play when they get an answer right. For our middle and high school students, our arcade games and Green Dot Challenge are a great way to celebrate students’ growth and motivate them to master their standards. Engaged students are less likely to skip school and are more likely to excel academically.

Closing Learning Gaps

Much like the learning loss that came out of the pandemic, absenteeism can create significant learning gaps and increase academic inequalities. Our platform is specifically geared toward reducing these inequalities by providing targeted support. With personalized Study Plans, Quick Click Remediation, and Liftoff Adaptive Intervention, students can catch up on missed content and bridge those learning gaps effectively. Our recovery tools have been proven to increase test scores and boost student engagement — take a look at these resources and case studies to learn more. 

Supporting Hybrid Learning

The pandemic has reshaped the way we approach education, and one of the biggest changes has been the adoption of hybrid learning. At Progress Learning, we embrace this change. Our powerful web-based platform enables students to access their lessons from anywhere they have an internet connection. Whether students are at home or in the classroom, they can keep up with their learning. And for students with anxiety or mental health challenges who are opting to stay home for the day, our platform offers a lifeline. They can continue working independently in their Study Plans without missing a beat, even if they’re not physically in the classroom.

 Rising absenteeism is a major challenge for schools and educators — but it’s not insurmountable. With a web-based recovery tool like Progress Learning, you can make classroom learning more engaging and help your students catch up on what they’ve missed.

Request a demo of Progress Learning today.


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