How is SEL associated with attendance? 

CASEL has found that a systemic, districtwide approach to SEL supports an equitable, high-quality education for all by improving behavioral outcomes and increasing attendance. Classrooms that address students’ social and emotional needs are motivating and psychologically and physically safe. Students in these environments are more likely to adopt the prosocial and pro-academic behaviors promoted by these settings. A supportive, responsive environment can motivate students and defend against external factors that cause absenteeism.

While there are many factors that affect student attendance that falls outside of a student’s or school’s control, a school environment dedicated to growing the whole learner can protect students from some of those factors. Meeting students’ social and emotional needs can improve relationships, drive engagement, and increase attendance.

In addition to improving school climate and culture, SEL also increases student achievement, engages students in learning, gets them excited about school, and reduces depression and stress. These are all factors critical to student attendance.


How can you implement SEL to increase attendance? 

First, measure students’ SEL skills to understand students’ strengths and needs, and use the data to find the potential root causes of attendance problems. Our BASEline assessment is a full-scale, research-validated screener structured to help you measure CASEL’s five main competency groups–self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making. 

At BASE, when we think about student attendance and engagement, we look at a student’s BASEline scores in each CASEL competency. Based on a student’s scores, we assign modules that will grow their areas of need. Students that score low in the measures of attendance and engagement will be assigned modules such as our Motivation module. Our research has shown that overall time spent in the BASE Motivation module significantly moderated the impact of academic self-confidence on overall engagement. 

Once students complete their assigned modules, we readminster BASEline to show pre-and post-test results. Administrators are dynamically informed with charts and graphs as to the effectiveness of their SEL initiative. 


To hear more about how our partners have used BASE to increase attendance, join us for a future How We Do It Webinar