Date of Award

Spring 1-30-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Phil Pendley

Second Advisor

Dr. Edison Kelly

Third Advisor

Dr. Timothy McCarty


Purpose: The purpose of this Delphi study was to identify strategies expert Student Services Administrators/Attendance Supervisors recommend as most effective for reducing chronic absenteeism with TK-5th Grade public school students. In addition, it was the purpose to rate the effectiveness of the identified strategies, and to identify activities that would support the implementation of the most effective strategies.

Methodology: This study used a Delphi method, consisting of three rounds, to collect data from expert Student Service Administrators/Attendance Supervisors. In Round 1, expert panel members were asked to identify strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism with TK-5th grade students. In Round 2, the identified strategies were placed in a Likert scale style survey where the effectiveness of each strategy was rated. In Round 3, expert panel members identified specific activities to support the implementation of the seven highest-rated strategies.

Findings: The expert panel members identified 18 strategies to reduce chronic absenteeism with TK-5th grade students. The strategies were then rated and ranked. The top seven strategies are: (1) create a positive climate; (2) create a culture of positive attendance with staff, students, and families; (3) create enthusiasm among students towards attendance; (4) build positive relationships with students and their families; (5) create an attendance multi-tiered system of support at each school site; (6) increase parental awareness of the effects of chronic absenteeism in early grades; (7) early identification of students who are at risk of becoming chronically absent. The expert panel recommended 48 activities to support the implementation of the top 7 ranked strategies.

Conclusion: To reduce chronic absenteeism, districts must employ a variety of strategies concurrently. First, schools, families, and community leaders need to work collaboratively to remove barriers. Second, investments in building relationships and communication with students and families are critical to reducing chronic absenteeism. Lastly, activities should align with strategies that increase parent awareness, support early and targeted interventions, and increase student and parent engagement.

Recommendations: Based on the findings from this study, nine recommendations were put forth for further research to advance the understanding of how to best address the crisis of student chronic absenteeism.