First Semester Report: Employee Absences & Substitute Activity
With the first semester of the academic year over, it’s time for a mid-year review. Let’s look at employee absence and substitute activity data from the Frontline Research & Learning Institute and see how the 2018-19 school year is progressing in three key areas.
This year — like past years — has seen the majority of teacher absences attributed to illness. And like previous years, there’s a close correlation between flu activity (as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and illness-related employee absences. Professionally related reasons, such as field trips and professional development, also continue to take teachers out of the classroom.
Overall, the teacher absence rate in the first half of the 2018-19 school year has closely mirrored that of the previous year.
Teacher Fill Rates
Although teachers have not been absent more often this school year, fill rates have decreased slightly compared to previous years. Days in the middle of the week continue to have higher fill rates. This is the case even when teacher absences are more prevalent during the middle of the week — such as the month of December, when Tuesdays saw the highest fill rates, despite also having the highest percentage of absences.
Teacher Fill Rate by Day of Week* (December)
*Based on data from teacher absences only.
Substitute Teacher Activity
The percentage of non-working substitutes has increased compared to the 2017-18 school year. In December, for example, over 63 percent of substitutes did not take jobs. This may contribute to slightly lower fill rates — especially since substitutes who did take jobs worked roughly as much as they did in previous years, rather than working more days to make up for substitutes who didn’t work at all.
What do these findings mean for you? Learn how you can engage substitutes and improve fill rates in this blog post on FrontlineEducation.com