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Reducing Absenteeism: How This Free Tool Can Transform Your School

Tiago Penteado

December 8, 2023

Orah Passes - Manage Absences for free

Schools have to manage a maze of student absences, duty of care, legal requirements, student wellbeing, and academic performance every day. Absences Manager's play a vital role in managing the flow of students and ensuring they're present & accounted for. Until now, this has been largely manual and time-intensive job for one or two people at the school. Absence Managers continue to play a crucial part in maintaining productivity and ensuring smooth operations in schools by effectively managing and tracking student absences.

Today, Orah have an entirely free solution for school to manage student leave, absences & parent communications – let's dive into the world of Absences Management and discover how Orah’s innovative solution can transform your school.

Key Takeaways

  • An Absences Manager plays an essential role in school attendance and persistent absence, Orah Passes is here to help.
  • Orah’s innovative solution streamlines the leave request process, provides data synchronization with existing systems, and offers comprehensive student life management.
  • Use Orah Passes for free to easily manage student absences & prepare for peak periods!

Exploring the Role of an Absences Manager

An absences manager carries the responsibility of overseeing school attendance and persistent absence throughout the academic semester, leading the way for continuous improvement. But why is absence management important? Studies show that when students are absent, it can negatively affect their academic achievement.

In a university setting, for example, the NYU Student Leave Policy expects students to stay enrolled in an academic program, with the exception of summer breaks. However, if a student needs to take a break from enrollment, the academic advisor steps in to guide the student through the process. Effective absence management allows schools to promote a conducive learning environment and uphold productivity, while student affairs professionals ensure a well-rounded college experience.

The Significance of Effective Absence Management

Increasing trends in unplanned absences can be an indication of an at-risk school in terms of student satisfaction and their commitment to learning. Absent students can have a direct impact on the school's learning outcomes & engagement, as the quality of work will likely decrease as they fall behind.

To help reduce absenteeism, educators can consider offering options like:

  • Implement student wellbeing programs to support more students
  • Provide additional targeted support for frequently absent students
  • Introduce measures to understand why students are frequently absent
  • Make it easier for staff to communicate with parents
  • Make it easier for parents to communicate with the school
  • Implement mutual action plans with student and their families

Effective absence management helps schools lessen disruptions, sustain a positive learning environment, and bolster student well-being.

Orah's Innovative Solution for Schools

Enter Orah Passes, a free, innovative Absences Management tool that simplifies the process for parents and schools.

Orah offers the following features:

  • Streamlines leave requests
  • Integrates with existing systems
  • Provides comprehensive student life management, including attendance, behavior, well-being, conduct, and communication.

We will examine Orah’s features and their potential to transform your school.

Streamlining Leave Requests

Orah’s Absence Manager offers the following benefits:

  • Easy submission of leave requests online, eliminating the need for paper forms or phone calls
  • Efficient processing and tracking of leave requests for schools
  • Proper recording and management of all leave requests
  • Features like editing leave details, customizing leave types, and providing greater flexibility and control in processing leave requests

Parents can easily track the status of their leave request using Orah’s tool. For urgent leave requests, Orah offers a solution. This streamlined process not only reduces the administrative burden on schools but also provides a user-friendly experience for parents.

Integration with Existing Systems

Orah understands the importance of seamless integration with existing school systems. That’s why it offers bi-directional syncs for major systems already in use, such as Student Information Systems (SIS), Student Management Systems (SMS) or Management Information Systems (MIS). This two-way data synchronization keeps data updated and consistent across both systems, improving efficiency and accuracy when it comes to school-related information.

Orah also has a partnership with Wonde, allowing them to integrate with a wide range of school systems. This integration ensures that schools can leverage Orah’s innovative Absences Manager without disrupting their current processes.

Comprehensive Student Life Management

Orah’s comprehensive student life management system covers various aspects of student life, including:

  • Attendance Tracking
  • Communication Tools
  • Student Wellbeing Tracking
  • Student Behavior Management

Orah aids in fostering a positive learning environment for students by offering a platform for consistent, evidence-based approaches to safeguarding, wellbeing, student support & disciplinary processes.

The Orah Student Life platform offers a range of solutions to help schools manage student life and support their success.

These solutions include:

  • Know where students are with Orah Passes, Roll Checks & Location Check-Ins
  • Manage student behavior with free Orah Notes
  • Write fast & accurate reports with free Orah Report Writer
  • Identify at-risk students with Orah Mood Checks & Surveys
  • Support at-risk students with Orah Support Library
  • Ensure student safety with Orah Emergency Response
  • Communicate with students, staff & families using Orah Broadcasts, Custom Alerts and Chat

With these tools, schools can take a holistic approach to managing attendance, student conduct, well-being, and communication, ensuring a positive and supportive environment both in and out of the classroom. Additionally, these tools can help in organizing and maintaining supporting documentation related to student progress, safety, well-being and activities.

Addressing Chronic Absenteeism in Academic Settings

Absent: an empty classroom

Chronic absenteeism, defined as missing 10% or more of school hours for any reason, can have detrimental effects on students’ academic performance and well-being. Addressing and preventing chronic absenteeism is a necessary step towards achieving student success and adhering to attendance laws. In this context, absenteeism refers to the chronic form of missing school hours.

Research shows that early intervention is six times more likely to be successful than waiting until non-attendance becomes persistent. By identifying the root causes of increased absences and implementing targeted strategies, schools can mitigate the negative impacts of chronic absenteeism and support student success.

Leveraging Data to Reduce Excessive Absenteeism

Schools can leverage data from absence management tools like Orah to:

  • Identify patterns and trends in student absences
  • Establish early intervention strategies
  • Collaborate with families and community partners
  • Assess the effectiveness of these interventions

Data analysis enables schools to make informed decisions and take proactive measures to improve attendance and student success.

Orah’s free tools:

  • Collects information on student absences and behavior
  • Generates reports and insights to help schools understand attendance patterns
  • Helps address excessive absenteeism
  • Helps schools streamline parent<>school communication
  • Allows parents to securely report their child as absent using a single "magic link"
  • Enables schools to enact targeted interventions aimed at reducing absenteeism and enhancing the overall student learning environment.

Student Wellness and Its Impact on Absence Rates

There is a correlation between student wellness and absence rates, as poor student wellness, such as physical and mental health issues, can lead to higher absence rates. Additionally, chronic absenteeism is linked with lower educational performance and can be an indicator of worse health in the future.

Schools should prioritize support and resources to promote overall student well-being, including mental and physical health initiatives, social-emotional learning programs, and effective communication between parents, students, and host families. Concentrating on student wellness allows schools to decrease absence rates and enhance both academic performance and overall well-being, especially when a family member is involved in the support process.

Legal Aspects and Related Policies of Absenteeism

Understanding the legal aspects and policies related to absenteeism is crucial for schools to ensure compliance and protect students’ rights. In the United States, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) promotes equity and excellence for all students and includes provisions to monitor and address chronic absence.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act ensures that students with chronic illnesses have access to education and are not discriminated against due to their illness. Schools must provide reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to education for these students. Consciousness and compliance with these legal requirements enable schools to safeguard students’ rights and advocate for a just learning environment.

Implementing Absence Management Programs

Implementing effective absence management programs can lead to improved productivity, cost savings, and a better learning environment for students. Efficient absence management in schools can be achieved by automating repeatable tasks, minimizing potential errors, and simplifying processes.

Orah offers free Orah Passes tool to manage student absences that lets schools:

  • Manage all absences in one spot
  • Triage and process leave requests

Utilization of Orah’s system allows schools to:

  • Boost attendance rates
  • Lessen administrative workload
  • Give priority to student well-being.

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Absence Management

What is the cost of absenteeism?

A cost-benefit analysis of absence management can help schools identify areas for improvement and allocate resources efficiently. By comparing the costs associated with managing absences to the benefits gained from reducing absenteeism, schools can calculate the cost-benefit ratio and make informed decisions.

Implementing effective absence management can lead to cost savings in many ways, such as:

  • Minimizing the financial impact of unplanned employee absences
  • Improving productivity
  • Reducing turnover
  • Avoiding legal penalties and fines
  • Helping to manage absenteeism effectively

Conducting a cost-benefit analysis, including evaluating direct cost, helps schools to ascertain effective resource allocation and the most efficient ways to address absenteeism.

Tailoring Strategies for Different Cultures

Different cultures in academic settings may require tailored strategies for managing absences. Understanding the unique values, norms, and expectations of various cultures at each school is essential for adapting strategies accordingly.

To tailor absence management for different school cultures, schools should focus on:

  • Clear Communication
  • Educating Parents & Families on Simplified Processes
  • Flexible Pass options
  • Student Support systems

Recognizing and addressing the unique challenges and needs of different cultures enables schools to manage absences effectively and foster a positive learning environment.

Tools and Resources for Managing Absences

Utilizing free tools like Orah Passes can help schools effectively manage and track student absences. By offering a centralized platform to measure, manage, and improve attendance, Orah enables schools to streamline their absence management processes and focus on student well-being.

In addition to Orah’s Absences Manager, schools can access resources such as Attendance Works, OSPI, and the Connecticut State Department of Education to further support their absence management efforts. Leveraging these tools and resources enables schools to manage absences effectively and foster a positive learning environment for their students.

Preparing for Peak Absence Periods

Schools should be prepared for peak absence periods, such as flu season, exam time, or special events. Proactive plans and strategies are essential to managing these periods effectively and mitigating the impact on student performance and well-being.

For example, during flu season, schools can:

  • Encourage good hygiene
  • Keep the environment clean
  • Educate about flu prevention
  • Promote flu vaccinations
  • Have a plan for managing absences

Preparedness and strategic planning enable schools to navigate peak absence periods with minimal disruption to the learning environment.

Try Free Orah Passes for Absence Management

Use 3 Orah Pass Types for Free

Consider trying Orah’s complimentary passes for absence management to personally experience the benefits. You can create up to 3 pass types for free – this essentially allows you to roll out a passes system to manage student leave and absences for free.

Orah offers features such as:

  • Attendance tracking
  • Location management
  • Activity management
  • Emergency rolls
  • Student care
  • Mood checks
  • Behavior management
  • Surveys

Schools can streamline their absence management processes and focus on what truly matters - student success and well-being.


In summary, effective absence management is vital for maintaining productivity, ensuring smooth operations, and supporting student well-being in schools. By leveraging tools like Orah’s Absences Manager and tailoring strategies for different work cultures, schools can address the unique challenges of managing absences and create a positive learning environment. So, embrace the power of Orah’s innovative solution and transform your school’s approach to absence management today.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many absences are too many at school?

Absenteeism should generally be limited to 3 or more unexcused occurrences in a 90-day period, with an overall goal of a 1.5% absenteeism rate from students.

How does absence management work?

Absence management is a system that involves employees informing their employer when they can't attend work and putting strategies in place to reduce absences due to illness, injury or similar reasons. It also encompasses policies and action plans designed to monitor and reduce unplanned leaves, while striking a balance between supporting and disciplining employees. Finally, it includes having a system for recording absences for accurate payroll processing.

What is the role of an absence manager in schools?

The Absences Manager in schools plays an important role of overseeing school attendance and persistent absences, with the goal of continuously improving the attendance rates.

How does Orah's Absences Manager tool simplify the leave request process?

Orah Passes for Absences Managers simplifies the leave request process by enabling parents to submit requests online and providing schools with a streamlined way to track and manage those requests.

How can schools leverage data from absence management tools like Orah to reduce excessive absenteeism?

Schools can leverage data from tools like Orah to identify patterns and trends in student absences, allowing them to take proactive measures to reduce excessive absenteeism.

Product Update

Our gift to you: a free behavior management tool, plus an incredibly useful newsletter

Join thousands of school leaders learning to improve student life. Subscribers receive free access to our behavior management tool, Orah Notes. When you subscribe, you will receive an email with instructions on how to get it set up, as well as an introductory version of the Orah-cle, our monthly newsletter.

Tiago Penteado

I’m from NZ, so I enjoy a good spot of rugby – more recently though, I've been into running as it's a tad kinder to the body. I write, cook & read to relax. At Orah, I'm very excited to contribute to a great mission making a meaningful difference in the lives of students and educators across the world.

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