As COVID fuels unprecedented absenteeism, EveryDay Labs helps school districts address learning loss and pervasive inequities
Student absenteeism reached crisis levels during the COVID pandemic as students and families faced significant barriers to learning. EveryDay Labs, which works with thousands of schools to boost attendance rates through behavioral science, today announced an $8 million Series A round of financing led by Rethink Impact, the largest U.S.-based impact venture capital fund investing in female leaders using technology to generate social impact.
"Improving attendance is one of the most fundamental ways to support learning recovery and get students back on track academically," said Jennifer Kretschman, MTSS Director of Sacramento City Unified School District. "This is clearly critical during COVID, but frankly, is an issue we all must address during 'normal times' as well. EveryDay Labs plays an instrumental role in this strategy for us."
Although absenteeism is predictive of lower academic performance and leads to 7x higher dropout rates, the "attendance gap" is growing. According to "Present Danger: Solving the Deepening Student Absenteeism Crisis" a recent report from Georgetown University, COVID led to lower rates of attendance for students in under-resourced communities, even as attendance rates for more affluent students increased.
"This funding is an important step in meeting the needs of district leaders serving millions of K–12 students and families, so that all students have the opportunity to learn every day," said EveryDay Labs CEO, Emily Bailard. "It's about generating new insights into a pervasive problem, and investing in tools that reflect the aspirations of school district leaders and students alike."
Even before the pandemic, a growing number of U.S. school districts were tapping the potential of behavioral and data science to tailor interventions and supports to realworld needs, and engage families to improve attendance and student outcomes. On average, districts that partner with EveryDay Labs see a 10–15% reduction in chronic absenteeism.
This investment round, which includes participation from Reach Capital, Gary Community Ventures, City Light Capital, RedHouse Education, Edovate Capital Bonsal Capital, and Copper Wire Ventures will also support EveryDay Labs' efforts to scale its research-based communication tools to help district leaders tackle other critical priorities, such as learning recovery, enrollment, and connecting vulnerable students and families to resources.
"Emily is leading a team that is bringing advanced analytic capabilities to bear on a vexing challenge at an absolutely critical moment," said Jenny Abramson, Founder & Managing Partner of Rethink Impact. "This is a technology that has already had a profound impact on energy consumption and other major segments of the economy. By translating Dr.Todd Rogers' research into solutions that improve communication between schools and families, they are proving that the educational implications of behavioral and data science can be equally profound and help close the critical attendance gap."
About EveryDay Labs EveryDay Labs unites behavioral science, data science, and family engagement to reduce chronic absenteeism while empowering educators to optimize student supports districtwide. Currently supporting over one million students nationwide, EveryDay Labs has prevented over one million absences, increasing instructional time for students by over 380 million minutes. The company earned the coveted "strong evidence" rating from Evidence for the ESSA out of the Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Learn more at www.everydaylabs.com.
About Rethink Impact Rethink Impact is the largest, US-based impact venture capital firm that invests in female leaders using technology to solve the world's biggest problems. The Fund primarily invests in companies in education, health, environmental sustainability, and fintech for good. Learn more at rethinkimpact.com or follow them on Twitter @RethinkImpact.