Fall 2016
A Note from the Executive Director
This fall, Attendance Works had the opportunity and privilege of traveling the country to speak about chronic absence. Wherever we were --  Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Michigan, Florida, California, Oregon or Washington DC¬≠ -- audiences resonated with our key ideas.
  • Children can't benefit from what is taught in the classroom unless they are present and engaged.
  • Chronic absence is an early warning sign that children are off track for success.
  • Solving chronic absence requires schools working with students, families, community organizations and public agencies to understand barriers to getting to school and build a community-wide culture of daily attendance.
  • We can use data to target resources and ensure interventions are making a difference.
Combined with the extraordinary level of participation in Attendance Awareness Month 2016, this experience confirms for us that addressing chronic absence is a consensus that holds true across the country, from rural to suburban to urban school districts of every size. We thank the over 400 communities and 500 local superintendents who participated this year.
  
States can now leverage this growing recognition of chronic absence and build it into accountability measures for school quality and student engagement under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).  State plans for implementing ESSA requirements are due in either March or July, and we urge you to act now. Recently released reports from the Brookings Institution and the Data Quality Campaign describe the benefits of using chronic absence. Our brief, "Chronic Absence: Our Top Pick for the ESSA School Quality or Student Success Indicator, " recommends combining chronic absence with other measures of school quality and climate.
 
Join us as we continue to build on the momentum created this year to ensure that no child misses out on an opportunity to learn because they miss too much school!  


Hedy N. Chang
Executive Director, Attendance Works

Attendance Awareness Month



2016 AAM Highlights
This year's Attendance Awareness Month generated an exceptional response as states, districts and schools across the country joined together to hold contests, issue proclamations and greet students with mascots and high fives. Our September brief, " Preventing Missed Opportunity " highlights chronic absence as a national crisis. By showing that chronic absence is both widespread and highly concentrated, it effectively made the case that all states and districts need to monitor chronic absence so they can target resources effectively. The report generated 6,383 downloads and scores of news stories in September alone.
 
Here are a few of the metrics we've gathered:
 
7,580+ people have joined our listserv, up from 4,300 last year.
 
431  communities in 47 states + D.C . posted on the Attendance Action Map.
 
500 superintendents signed our Call to Action, more than double last year's number. The Call is still open for superintendents who would like to pledge.
 
7,450+ tweets featured the #schooleveryday hashtag in September alone, generating 15.8 million impressions.
 
We've put our AAM metrics into an infographic. Find it here.

Research Spotlight

The Brookings Institution's Hamilton Project report, " Lessons for Broadening School Accountability under the Every Student Succeeds Act," recommends that states should consider adopting chronic absenteeism as the "fifth indicator" of student success and school quality. 

The Data Quality Campaign's report, " Opportunities to Make Data Work for Students in the Every Student Succeeds Act," highlights 13 states that are taking action to support students in school every day. 

Updated with revised information from Florida, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) first ever chronic absence data collection shows that chronic absence is even bigger than initially projected, affecting at least 6.8 million students. See OCR's updated Chronic Absenteeism data story.

Policy Spotlight


E-Summit explores absenteeism as ESSA indicator 

The US Department of Education, Attendance Works and other co-sponsors invite you to attend the  Every Student, Every Day -- No Matter What: Realizing the Power of Chronic Absence Data to Ensure Safe, Supportive Schools, on Dec. 7 2016, at 10-11:30 PT / 1-2:30 ET. This webinar will feature examples from across the country for  leveraging chronic absence data to propel systems change that ensures high-quality, whole-child supports for all students. Find out more and  register now!

Head Start addresses chronic absence 

Head Start's new Performance Standards require programs to address chronic absence, or missing 10 percent or more of the school year for any reason. Agencies must begin to track children's individual attendance, engage parents, and develop strategies. We've encouraged major Head Start data providers to integrate chronic absence reports directly into their data systems. COPA has already done so, and Child Plus has just committed to add chronic absence reports. Read our blog post
State Spotlight

Arkansas 
Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading's report shows that one-quarter of chronically absent students were concentrated in just ten percent of the state's 522 elementary schools. The report outlines tiered interventions that have been used by bright spot schools to make every day count. Read more

California 
Attorney General Kamala Harris released In School + On Track 2016 analyzing data on elementary grades from the past four years. The report shows that attendance habits in early grades affect student achievement in 3rd. Read our blog.

Connecticut 
Connecticut is a pioneer in incorporating chronic absence as a metric in its statewide accountability system. CT's progress offers a glimpse into the future of the potential benefits. Recent data shows the number of chronically absent students dropped from 11.5 percent in 2012-13, to 9.6 percent in 2015-16. Find out more here.

Support Attendance Works
A special thank you to those who have included Attendance Works in their charitable contributions helping us to provide Attendance Awareness Month materials and other toolkits free of charge. If you haven't had a chance, you can donate now by clicking the button below.


Supporter :
$1-$49

Friend: 
$50-$199
 
Bronze Attendance Champion:
$200-$499
 
Silver Attendance Champion: $500-$999

Gold Attendance Champion:
$1,000 or more

Holiday Messaging
Families often don't realize how keeping their student out of school for extra days during the holidays can affect student achievement. Find targeted strategies and tools in our Holiday Messaging toolkit


Upcoming Webinar
Join the Every Student, Every Day -- No Matter What: Realizing the Power of Chronic Absence Data to Ensure Safe, Supportive Schools, on Dec. 7 2016, at 10-11:30 PT / 1-2:30 ET.  Register here.

Survey Spotlight
Seeking your Feedback: Help Us Make Attendance Awareness Month 2017 A Success! 

As we wrap-up our fourth AAM we are interested to know what you think about what worked this year, and what might be improved. Please take a few minutes and complete a survey. Finish the survey by Nov. 18, 2016 and we will enter your name into a raffle to win a small prize! You can find the survey here.

About Attendance Works
Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success. We aim to ensure that every school in every state not only tracks chronic absence data for its individual students but also partners with families and community agencies to help those children.


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Contact Us
Questions?  

For more information contact:  info@attendanceworks.org