What is school attendance?

School attendance tracks how often a student is present or absent from school during an academic year. “Regular attendance” is measured as the percentage of K-12 students who are present for over 90% of instructional days, while “chronic absence” indicates rates of attendance at 90% or fewer of instructional days. Chronic absenteeism tends to be more prevalent among students in earlier grades (kindergarten and 1st grade) and then later in high school. OCID has data on school attendance starting in 2005 among students attending K-12 public schools in Oregon.

For education-related indicators, the year refers to the fall start of the academic year. For example, 2016 refers to the 2016-17 academic year. To learn more about the school attendance indicator, please visit the Technical Dictionary.

Why is school attendance important?

School attendance in early years is a predictor of attendance and academic achievement in later years. Chronic absenteeism occurs in all types of communities, but is particularly high among students with disabilities and those who are economically disadvantaged.

In Oregon, chronic absenteeism has a disproportionate impact on students with disabilities, students of color, students of American Indian and Alaska Native descent, students who have received at least one out-of-school suspension, and students experiencing economic disadvantage. Oregon’s regular attendance rate consistently ranks in the bottom 20% of states.


To learn more about school attendance, please visit the Oregon Department of Education (ODE):

Please remember the following
  • OCID only includes children born in Oregon since 2001; ideally, the dataset will be expanded over time to represent all of the children in Oregon.
  • OCID only includes education data for children attending Oregon public schools.
  • To display race and ethnicity categories consistently across multiple data sources, OCID currently combines information from vital statistics, education, Medicaid, and child welfare records. Visit our Race and Ethnicity Data Overview to learn more.
  • To protect the identities of individuals, OCID only shows results for populations; where populations are too small and could risk revealing identifiable information, OCID displays the result as “Suppressed.”

For more information about the details and limitations of the data, please visit our Technical Dictionary and Dataset Overview.

Ready to explore the data?

The indicator display below provides two views:

  • A dashboard view for a structured way to look at the indicator by selecting a geography and then 1-2 other attributes; and,
  • A “sandbox” view for freely exploring the various attributes.

Please visit the About OCID and Explore OCID Population pages before exploring the data. For details on the indicator, attributes, data sources, and limitations, please visit the Well-being Dashboard Technical Dictionary.


What explains any trends and disparities?

We don’t know yet. The Dashboard shows descriptive data, not causal relationships. In depth analyses are needed to understand why disparities or trends occur.

The OCID team conducts targeted analyses using advanced statistical methods to shed light on policy questions prioritized by the Governance Committee. These analyses aim to provide Oregon-specific and timely information for policymakers, allowing them to take a data-driven approach to improving outcomes for Oregon’s children. Sign up below to receive OCID updates.

Suggested citation: Center for Evidence-based Policy, Oregon Health & Science University. School attendance dashboard. Oregon Child Integrated Dataset (OCID) website. https://www.ocid-cebp.org/outcome/school-attendance/. Published June 4, 2020.

The Center for Evidence-based Policy partners with the Center for Health Systems Effectiveness, also at Oregon Health & Science University, on dashboard analytics.