Chronic absence is a measure of how much school a student misses for any reason. It is a broader measure than truancy, which only tracks unexcused absences. Starting in the early grades, the percentage of students missing 10 percent of the school year can reach remarkably high levels, and these early absences can rob students of the time they need to develop literacy skills. Tracking chronic absence is a data-driven solution that can be built into federal grant applications and can be an integral part of parent engagement programs. It can be a goal for a funder’s investment—or a measure of a grantee’s success. Chronic absence can also tip off communities to families and neighborhoods in need of further support, since poor school attendance can be an early warning sign of challenging social, economic, and health conditions.