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!