Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development

First Advisor

Dr. Morris J. Beers


The purpose of this study was to determine if there is an identifiable pattern of absences for elementary school student who eventually drop out of high school. If so, attendance patterns could be used as an indicator for students at risk or dropping out. Using attendance data, the study investigated these absences.

This study examined the elementary attendance records of 42 high school dropouts. All of these students attended school in the Fulton City School District.

The study began by looking at grade levels. For each grade level, the percentage of each day of the week missed was calculated. The purpose of this was to determine if there was one particular day of the week, at each grade level, that was most likely to be missed. The next step was to determine if there was a particular day that was most commonly missed overall.

The results of this analysis indicated that there is no one day that is more likely to be missed.

In addition, a percentage of absences for each grade level was calculated. The purpose was to determine if there is an increase in the number of absences with increase in grade level. Results of the study did not support this idea.

Finally, two students were examined more closely to determine if there was a pattern to their absences over three or more years. This analysis also failed to find any pattern that would be useful in identifying potential dropouts.

While poor attendance is known to be an indicator of students at risk of dropping out, the specifics of particular days missed does not seem to be useful in identifying these students.