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8 Insights from the Interactive Employee Absence Report

Employee Absences

The most recent Monthly Absence Report (June 2018) features some surprising statistics taken from data representing 5,795 public school districts, charter schools, education service agencies and private schools across the country.

INSIGHT 1: With the school year coming to an end, most school employees took fewer absences in June. The one exception? Administrative staff saw a marked increase in absences from May to June and across the academic year.

INSIGHT 2: In June, vacation and personal days (combined) overtook illness as the leading cause of employee absences. This was driven primarily by administrative staff absences.

INSIGHT 3: Despite fewer teacher absences, the average fill rate decreased in June, as substitutes worked fewer days. The highest fill rate (88.2%) was found in multi-grade instructional schools.

INSIGHT 4: As we’ve seen, low fill rates could potentially be mitigated by increasing lead time — especially for professionally related absences, which are typically planned weeks in advance.

Additional Resources

Strategies for Collaborating on Professionally Related Absences

Get the white paper at FrontlineEducation.com 

INSIGHT 5: 25% of teacher absences in June fell on Fridays, which likely contributed to particularly low fill rates. 21% of teacher absences in June fell on Mondays, 19% on Tuesdays, and 17% on Wednesdays as well as Thursdays.

INSIGHT 6: In June, extra-large rural districts saw the lowest percentage of non-working substitutes — as well as the highest fill rates.

INSIGHT 7: Although teachers took fewer absences in June, substitutes worked half as many days as they did in May. This led to low fill rates. Generally, lower teacher/substitute ratios correlate with higher fill rates. In June, however, this was not the case.

Additional Resources

How can you increase substitute engagement? Read Changing Perceptions: Substitutes as Educators.

Get the white paper at FrontlineEducation.com 

INSIGHT 8: Overall, illness-related absences correlate loosely with influenza-like illness activity as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the weeks around the holidays tend to be an exception, with fewer employees being absent.

Visit the Interactive Absence Report  

Raegen Miller

Raegen Miller is the Research Director for FutureEd. Immediately prior to joining the center, Raegen served as vice president for research partnerships at Teach for America. Raegen also worked at the Center for American Progress on issues of human capital and fiscal equity in elementary and secondary education. Earlier, Raegen was a National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow affiliated with the Center on Reinventing Public Education at the University of Washington. He holds a doctorate in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he taught courses on applied data analysis and the foundations of schooling and teaching. Raegen’s work in education research and policy is grounded in many years of teaching high school mathematics. Raegen completed his teacher training at Stanford University, and holds an M.S. in mathematics from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.