Attendance Awareness Campaign Update

A project led by Attendance Works

April 27, 2023

Embrace Positive,


Success improving attendance and engagement requires a steady focus on relationships and the rebuilding of routines, especially for the students most adversely affected by the pandemic. Schools should make sure families and staff feel safe and supported by listening to their needs and taking a positive, problem-solving, not punitive, approach.  

A caring approach that builds upon family and student assets is especially essential given the trauma experienced over the past three years. Consider the advice of Dr. Pam Cantor, founder and senior science advisor with Turnaround for Children, whose powerful presentation opened our launch webinar on March 30, 2023.

We’re seeing numerous examples of schools and districts taking steps to reengage students and families. Jamar Greene, Dean of Students at Stamford High School in Connecticut, challenged several students to create a rap video to motivate the entire school body to show up. We approve!

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Together we have the opportunity to truly change the life trajectory for millions of students. Join the movement to get more kids engaged and back in school. Donate today.

Hedy Chang, Executive Director

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Attendance Tools

Group mentoring models have the power to reach as many young people as traditional individualized programs. MENTOR national has released recommendations, a checklist and a Group Mentoring Supplement to its report, the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring.

Guiding Principles for Creating Safe, Inclusive, Supportive, and Fair School Climates is a new resource from the U.S. Department of Education. Designed for educators, the report offers guiding principles for student discipline. 

As the school year moves forward, we need to engage in messaging about why it matters to show up to school regularly. Our 2023 Count Us In! toolkit has two steps for messaging about good attendance. 

Policy Spotlight

We’re grateful to the Education Trust, a nonprofit organization committed to improving equity in education, for collaborating with us on 5 Things for Advocates to Know About Chronic Absenteeism. Find info and action steps for advocates at the local and state level.

Research Spotlight

A new study suggests that forging strong partnerships with families requires being more careful when labeling absences as unexcused rather than excused. If families believe an unexcused label is unfairly applied, it can undermine trust and make it more difficult to address attendance barriers.


Join us on Wednesday, May 10 for our next free webinar, Relationships All Year Round: Nurturing Showing Up (12pm PT / 3pm ET). We’ll share the newly updated Attendance Playbook, developed with FutureEd, and unveil new Count Us In! toolkit resources. Share our social media messages (below).

Speakers will show how local communities are advancing strategies that embed learning opportunities in the everyday places that children and families go, during the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s May 2 webinar, Leaning into Community-wide Learning: What It Takes and Where It’s Happening! 

Corporate Sponsors

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

RaaWee K12 provides a highly robust collaboration platform where school districts implement best practices for tracking students’ attendance and managing interventions.

Attendance in the News

Newer school buses could cut student absences, World Economic Forum, April 19, 2023

Commentary: Disparities in 'unexcused' absences deepen education inequities, EdSource, April 18, 2023

SDUSD Kindergarteners Among Students Most Affected By Chronic Absenteeism: Report, NBC7 San Diego, March 24, 2023

3 Signs That Schools Are Sending the Wrong Message About Attendance, EdWeek, March 24, 2023

Social Media

We are now on Instagram! Find updates on our free resources, strategies, reports and events. Follow us @attendanceworks.

Sample Messages

Coming up! The 2023 AAC webinar 🎙 Relationships All Year Round: Nurturing Showing Up! 🗓 5/10/23 ⏰ 12pm PT/3pm ET

Register @IELconnects @UnitedWay @leagueofcities @MENTORnational @healthyschools @FutureEdGU @readingby3rd @JHU_EGC #SchoolEveryDay

To tackle rising chronic absence rates, @attendanceworks has developed the Count Us In! toolkit for the 2023 AAC which offers messaging, positive engagement strategies & tools to help raise awareness about why showing up to school matters:

Campaign Convening Partners

See the full list of Attendance Awareness Partners here.

Attendance Works is a non-profit, national and state initiative. Our mission is to promote equal opportunities to learn and advance student success by reducing chronic absence. Find free downloadable resources, research, consulting services and more on our website:

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