Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
August 11, 2021
A Safe and Healthy
Reopening of School

The actions taken at the beginning of the school year will lay the foundation and ensure a successful return.

With surges occurring in coronavirus cases across the country, it’s essential to assure families that schools are providing a safe and healthy environment. Take steps to put in place programming and partnerships that strengthen the capacity of schools to provide for physical, behavioral and mental health and wellness for students, family and staff. Reestablish the school community’s routines and rituals. Working together, school leaders, educators and families can show up to school and thrive!

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors, vaccination and the implementation of layered prevention strategies to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in schools. Read more in the guidance updated to advise schools about opening for in-person instruction and remaining open, Guidance for Covid-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.

CDC’s Considerations for Case Investigation and Contact Tracing in K-12 Schools and Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs) has been updated with recommendations for students, staff and educators, regardless of vaccination status, who have come into close contact with a person diagnosed with Covid-19. It highlights how case investigation and contact tracing — in combination with testing, isolation, and quarantine — are effective strategies to help prevent transmission of Covid-19 in K–12 schools.

Be sure to view the Count Us In! toolkit, updated for Covid-19, with ideas and resources for your campaign. Find sample back-to-school letters, a robo call script, an updated sample proclamation and a template press release to encourage media coverage of your campaign.
Attendance Tools
Find our new elementary and middle school handouts updated for post-Covid. They include new messaging that encourage teachers and families to work together so students can continue to learn even if they must stay home due to illness. Download the handouts. Watch for handouts translated into Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
We’ve added resources for the fall to our Pathways to Engagement: A Toolkit for Covid-19 Recovery Through Attendance. Download our just released Create Community at School multi-tiered sample handout for ideas and actions that your school or district can take to create community at school. Or use our blank template and fill in your own activities.

ICYMI, The American Academy of Pediatrics’ updated Covid-19 interim Guidance for Safe Schools supports daily monitoring of attendance of all students for in-person and virtual settings, and suggests schools use multi-tiered strategies to proactively support attendance for all students and to identify and support those at higher risk for absenteeism. Read AAP’s guidance.

Attendance Works offers personalized, high-quality technical assistance to states, districts, schools and communities, including a Professional E-Learning series. We can help you unpack the causes of chronic absence and create solutions. Learn more.
Research News

A new end of the year analysis of chronic absence data for districts in 18 California counties found that chronic absence increased by 5.78%. Conducted by School Innovation and Achievement, the study found that while chronic absence was still highest among high schoolers, the rates of increase were greatest for elementary districts. Learn more here.

An article in Pediatrics in Review describes how health-care providers can best partner with their patients’ schools to create asthma-friendly environments. It lists key elements to include in an asthma action plan so that it may serve as both a medication administration authorization form and an effective tool for communication with school health staff. Find The Role of Pediatric Health-care Providers in Promoting Students’ Asthma Health.

Poor physical school conditions are associated with increased rates of student absenteeism, with one study finding poor ventilation associated with a 10 to 20% increase in student absences. Find the study published in 2010, The Impact of School Building Conditions on Student Absenteeism in Upstate New York.
Policy Tools
AASA, FutureEd, Healthy Schools Campaign, and Kaiser Permanente collaborated on a new guide showing how districts can use Covid-19 relief funding to support student and staff health, including Covid-19 prevention, mental health and well-being, physical health and well-being, and family engagement and community involvement. Find Advancing Student and Staff Health with COVID Relief Funding.

Today! On Wednesday August 11, join us and the Marysville School District for a webinar sponsored by the Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI). We’ll discuss key schoolwide practices, including attendance teams and the messages and mindsets that make a difference. Register!

Thanks to the 3,600 individuals who registered for AAC webinar #3, Welcomed: Embracing Students, Families and Educators in the New School Year. Speakers included Rev. Larry Simmons and Abe Fernández, who highlighted the instrumental role of community partners in outreach, engagement and support. Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Eric Gordon’s vision for post-pandemic education includes “Schools without Walls” and “Whole Human Learning.” Find the webinar recording, presentation and discussion guide for this and webinars #1 and #2 on our website.

Registration is open for AAC Webinar 4: Fully Present: Leveraging Attendance Data to Ensure Ongoing Success, Wednesday, September 29, 2021: 11am-12:30pm PT / 2pm–3:30pm ET. Speakers will share ideas for maintaining your Attendance Awareness Campaign throughout the school year! Register today.
Partner Spotlight
A new America’s Promise Alliance and Research for Action report presents findings from a national survey of more than 2,400 high school students, providing one of the most comprehensive looks yet at the high school experience during a tumultuous year marked by a global pandemic, heightened attention to racial injustice and upended plans. It advises state and district leaders to prioritize support for high school students in their recovery planning for next school year and beyond. Find Where Do We Go Next? Youth Insights on the High School Experience During a Year of Historic Upheaval.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Too often, we think of reducing absences as strictly the job of parents or school clerks in the front office. But communities across the country are helping schools address chronic absence by building public awareness & leveraging resources. #SchoolEveryDay

A new @AmericasPromise & @Research4Action report Where Do We Go Next? advises the youth-supporting field to continue saturating young people’s environments with caring adult relationships: #GradNation #SchoolEveryDay
Corporate Sponsors

A big thank you to this year's Attendance Awareness Corporate Sponsors: EveryDay Labs and Kaiser Permanente.
Attendance in the News

The Kindergarten Exodus, New York Times, August 7, 2021

How the Pandemic Changed Truancy in Lewis County, Centralia Chronicle, August 6, 2021

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 advance student success and reduce equity gaps by addressing chronic absence. Find free downloadable resources, research, consulting services and more on our website:

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