Arkansas’s plan developed in accordance with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), includes student engagement as a component of each school’s ESSA Index Score. Student attendance is part of student engagement. Arkansas’s ESSA Plan can be viewed at: https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/admin/Files/20201125134752_Arkansas_ESSA_Plan_Final_rv_January_30_2018.pdf
The ADE defines a “state-reported” absence as:
“A student is absent if he or she is not participating in instruction on school grounds unless the student is participating in a district approved activity at an off-grounds location for the school day.”
All school districts have the capability to define the attendance absence codes that are appropriate for the districts' needs. Use of the attendance codes should be in accordance with Ark. Code Ann. §§6-18-201 et seq. and 6-20-2303. The attendance absence codes are set up in eSchool and should be modified as applicable.
Based on the above definition, a district will need to review the attendance view setups in the district’s eSchool database for each building to ensure that all of the appropriate absence codes are included in the views. All attendance codes such as excused, unexcused, or any other code meeting the definition of “state reported” absence should be included in the attendance views in other to be reported to the state in cycle 3, 5, 6 and 7.
Only the district’s eSchool Administrator should have access and make changes to the attendance view setup and the attendance absence codes.
For information on chronic absenteeism, please check the resources available at https://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/Offices/learning-services/attendance