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Report Finds Improvement Needed for Tracking Professional Absences

Report Finds Improvement Needed for Tracking Professional Absences

The first report from the Frontline Research and Learning Institute analyzed 4,500 K-12 organizations over a three-year period and found key improvements need to be made in order to improve the procedures related to professional absences.

According to the report, despite professional absences for reasons such as professional development being planned in advance, teacher absences are typically reported just days before- making it harder to find substitutes.

"Nearly 1/3 of professionally related absences requiring a substitute are reported within 4 days of the absence. As absence lead time shortens, fill rates (the ability to find a substitute) steadily decline," the report said.

Further, the report found a disconnect in perception between staff members; when surveyed, many did not agree on whether professional absences are too many or two few in their schools.

“...the Institute conducted a survey of Human Resources (HR) as well as Curriculum and Instruction (C&I) professionals from K-12 organizations nationwide,” said the Institute in a statement.

"The survey revealed a lack of collaboration between HR and C&I personnel with 40 percent of respondents indicating that collaboration was rare or non-existent. Data shows that 50 percent of HR professionals want to reduce the time spent on professionally-related absences, while 75 percent of C&I staff believe the time spent on professionally-related absences should be maintained or increased.”

Elizabeth Combs, Managing Director of the Institute, says the new analysis indicates a need for more collaboration from school administration in order to best handle professionally-related absences.

""When we look at Frontline Institute data, we see many important clues about the how and why of absences, as well as ideas about how departments can work together to better support instruction and continue to advance professional development,” she said in a statement.

Read the full report here. 

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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