According to the website an estimated 5 – 7.5 million U.S. students miss nearly a month of school each year. In addition, Absenteeism in the first month of school can predict poor attendance throughout the year. Half the students who miss 2-4 days in September go on to miss nearly a month of school.

There can be lots of reasons for absences, from low-income students dealing with housing or transportation issues beyond their control, to student involvement in gangs or drugs, to single-parent households where there is little time to focus on academic performance or attendance.

Whatever the reason for absences, the research consistently shows that it has a dramatic and cumulative effect on the student’s academic performance and prospects for post-secondary education or employment. In fact, by 6th grade chronic absence from school becomes the leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school.

One of the most effective ways of dealing with absences is to engage students and parents in positive ways and provide mentors for chronically absent students.

Relatrix’ EZVolunteer software can help with student absences in several important ways. First, our latest release includes a new feature for tracking student late arrivals and early departures at school, to help identify students who may be at risk. Second, EZVolunteer can be used to recruit, match and track volunteer mentors working with students who are chronically absent.

Our EZVKiosk module now allows you to setup a separate sign-in (Late Arrival) or sign-out (Early Departure) for students. In addition, we can synchronize your student enrollment at each campus so that students can sign-in or out with either their Student ID or Name and Date-Of-Birth. If you operate at the Elementary School level front office staff can do a quick look-up of the student in the EZVolunteer database and sign-in or out on behalf of the student. Late arrivals get a Tardy Pass to take with them to class. You can also run reports, by school to see which students and how many times in a month, semester or year they arrive late or depart early.

Whether you track students with EZVolunteer or a different attendance system you can identify students with a pattern of absences and then use EZVolunteer to find a mentor with whom to match them. Mentors can make a big difference in reducing absences and improving academic outcomes. With EZVolunteer mentors can sign-in through the EZVKiosk and indicate they are mentoring a student, which then logs the hours spent mentoring that student. Alternatively, mentors can sign-in to their EZVolunteer account and record the hours and which student they are mentoring.