Attendance Awareness Month Update
June 21, 2018
New Federal Chronic Absence Data! 

The number of students who are chronically absent sits at nearly 8 million, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) for the 2015-16 school year. OCR released the student absenteeism rates from all public schools and districts in 50 states in April. Attendance Works and FutureEd released "Writing the Rules for Tracking Chronic Absenteeism,"  that explains the power of quality data as a tool to target resources to the schools and students who need the most support. It lays out key steps to strengthen attendance collection and data quality under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Find the report.

Look out for our upcoming September brief that will break down the new OCR data.

Attendance Works! 

Your gift will help fund more great resources to raise awareness of the importance of attendance for student achievement.

As school winds down, it's a perfect time to enlist elected officials to sign proclamations declaring that September is Attendance Awareness Month. Download and tailor template proclamations for elected officials, superintendents, school boards and community organizations. The templates can also be adapted for state leaders, national and local organizations.

Also consider recruiting local sports stars or other celebrities for end-of-the-year school visits and assemblies or make plans for them to attend your back to school events in the Fall.
Community Spotlight

Contra Costa County Office of Education is celebrating its third year of a county-wide Attendance Awareness Campaign. Community members can purchase a 2017-18 calendar that displays the winning submissions from the "Every School Day Counts" poster contest for K-5 elementary students. The calendar includes monthly themes, key messages and a list of district principals recognized with the Principal Attendance Awareness Challenge.
Policy Spotlight


Attendance Works, The Hamilton Project, the Brookings Institution, FutureEd, and the Everyone Graduates Center analyze the new OCR data in a blog post. Better data reporting, not a spike in absences, explains the jump in the number of chronically absent students in 2015-16. Find the blog on the Brookings Institution Chalkboard.


A report from The Hamilton Project shows how health issues negatively affect student attendance. Check out their video illustrating how strong attendance is a key building block for academic achievement. 

Research Spotlight

Todd Rogers and Avi Feller sent personalized letters home that corrected parents' misbeliefs about their child's absences. The letters, sent to families of students in K-12th grades, reduced chronic absenteeism by 10 percent. This type of intervention that empowers parents can complement more intensive student-focused absenteeism interventions. Find the study:

Incentives are often used by schools as part of comprehensive approach to reduce chronic absence, yet not all incentive programs are created equal. Researchers Rekha Balu at MDRC and Stacy Ehrlich at NORC at the University of Chicago have developed a framework, with questions educators can consider, to help design incentive programs that work.
Webinar Spotlight

Our next free webinar, Team up for Attendance: Community Matters, is on  August 15, 11-12:30 pm (PT) / 2-3:30 pm (ET). Hear real-world examples of how health care, early childhood, and national service volunteers are helping students and families overcome barriers to getting to school and cultivating a culture of attendance that encourages showing up every day even when it isn't easy.  Registration opening soon!

Did you miss our earlier webinars? Look online for the PowerPoint presentation and recordings of Leadership Matters, (3/28) and Working Together Matters (5/8). Find them on our website.  
Resource Spotlight: Teaching Attendance Online Curriculum

Module 2 of our online, interactive series of courses is open! Creating a Culture of Attendance emphasizes Tier 1 universal, prevention-oriented strategies. Module 2 offers courses for primary grades and secondary grades. Module 1 explains what chronic absence is, how it impacts achievement, and offers strategies to combat absenteeism.  Register to access the curriculum.
Event Spotlight

Join us at IEL's  annual National Family & Community Engagement Conference July 11-13. We'll be speaking at a plenary and two workshops. Learn more.

We look forward to seeing you at The Campaign for Grade Level Reading's GLR Week in Philadelphia July 23-27, an event to strengthen the connections that exist within a growing network of 360+. Join us at two workshops and a concurrent Plenary on Thursday, "Reducing Chronic Absence Requires a Trauma-Informed Response." Register.
Sponsor Spotlight

A special thanks to our Attendance Awareness Month Campaign corporate sponsors for their commitment to help ensure that every child is in school every day. Their investment makes it possible for us to provide you with free strategies and materials:


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