Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Carla L. Sparks

Second Advisor

Stephanie Shames


Student attendance has been a national concern since the start of compulsory education in America; however, since the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance plummeted to never- before-seen attendance rates. Nationally, by the end of the 2021-2022 school year, nearly one in three students were absent 10% or more of the school year (Attendance Works, 2023). My 39-question survey conducted in two vastly different states between April and May of 2023 corroborated the national data and resulted in nearly one in three students being absent 10 or more school days in a year. Through my study, I explored parents’ perceptions of post-pandemic K–12 public or charter school students regarding barriers to student attendance, impacts on absenteeism, and motivation to attend school digitally or in the brick-and-mortar classroom. Health-related reasons have been the primary cause of student absences, but family events, social avoidance, and deaths led to additional absences. Parents desired their children to be successful but reported that they did not feel like partners in the educational process; therefore, improving community and family engagement practices is necessary. State-wide attendance improvement plans have yet to be successful or were non-existent in the states under study. I recommended a state student database to track student attendance state-wide while providing appropriate resources to districts and schools requiring additional support.