Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
August 18, 2021
Partnering with Community to Reduce Chronic Absence

Although Covid-19 continues to spread and the upcoming school year schedule remains uncertain, remember that educators don’t need to solve the challenge of chronic absence alone.

Consider using federal Covid-19 relief funds to invest in staff and volunteers from community-based organizations to help at the start of school by knocking on doors to remind families about the first day of school, encourage excitement about what they will learn, and offer tips for getting children back into the routine of showing up every day. They can encourage families to obtain needed supports from the school and community. These relationships can enable strong connections in in-person, and if necessary, remote settings. View our list of community partners and what they can do.

Our work with schools, districts and states is helping educators and their partners think strategically about how they can effectively support students and families as we reemerge from Covid-19, and what they should have in place over time to improve student attendance and achievement. Donate today!
In Connecticut, Gov. Lamont and the state department of education used chronic absence data to determine where to launch the LEAP program which expands capacity of schools and their community partners to conduct home visits in the summer and fall.

If your school is investing in tutors, keep in mind that they help students feel connected to school, engaged in learning and can alert school staff when a student faces barriers to learning and attendance. Consider prioritizing tutors for students who were chronically absent last year.

Students and families can help each other readjust to the routine of in-person school. The Cleveland Metropolitan School District is enlisting parent and student ambassadors to support the return to school. Hear more about this in our August 4th webinar.

We’ve updated the sample proclamation for local officials to raise awareness about Attendance Awareness Month, and the template press release to encourage media coverage of your campaign. Both can be downloaded. Find more on the Attendance Awareness website!
Attendance Tools
In Missouri, the United Way of Greater Kansas City and Turn the Page KC produced Attend, Enroll and Engage, a new video that promotes school attendance. Find it, along with videos about attendance during hybrid and distance learning created last year, here.

Florida Grade-Level Reading Campaign released a series of Public Service Announcements addressing the importance of attendance! Each of the four PSAs (in English and Spanish) can be downloaded from the FGLRC DropBox or viewed on FLGLR’s YouTube channel.

The U.S. Education Department created a checklist for families to prepare themselves and their children for a safe return to in-person learning this fall. Find A Resource for Parents on Returning to In-Person Learning.

The Attendance Works Student Attendance Success Plan is designed to help parents track their children’s attendance and work with teachers to set appropriate goals. We’ve added the 2021-22 school year calendar and updated them for in-person learning while Covid-19 continues to spread. Download the plans.

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

The transmission risk that Covid-19 school contact poses to adults and the wider community is not well studied. Data from a massive online survey in the U.S., collected over two time periods during the 2020-21 school year, indicate that there is an increased risk of Covid-19 among those living with a child attending school in person. The researchers found that when properly implemented school-based mitigation measures are in place, transmission within schools is limited and infection rates mirror that of the surrounding community. Read the research published in the journal Science, Household COVID-19 risk and in-person schooling.
State News
The Ohio State Department of Education released Resources for Return: Supporting Attendance and Student Engagement for schools and districts. Guiding principles such as keeping in contact, paying attention to health and safety first, leveraging community partnerships, and a checklist to go through before filing a truancy complaint with your juvenile court are a few of the items offered. Find the resources.

FutureEd analyzed the 42 state Covid relief spending plans submitted so far to the U.S. Department of Education looking for trends, including what they're doing about absenteeism. Read How States are Using Federal Funds for Learning Recovery.

We’re excited about 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.

Thanks to those who participated in AAC webinar #3, Welcomed: Embracing Students, Families and Educators in the New School Year. Find the webinar recording, presentation and discussion guide for this and webinars #1 and #2 on our website.
Partner Spotlight
FutureEd is an independent, solution-oriented think tank at Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy. Its areas of study include chronic absenteeism in state accountability systems.

FutureEd's Covid Relief Playbook looks at 18 evidence-based strategies that can help students recover academically and emotionally, including ideas for turning around attendance. Find the Playbook.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Taking action to engage students and families is essential for addressing the absenteeism, enrollment declines and educational inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. Join the Attendance Awareness Campaign and address chronic absence today!

Register for AAC Webinar #4, Fully Present: Leveraging Attendance Data to Ensure Ongoing Success, on Wed., Sept. 29. Hear inspiring success stories & strategies for maintaining your Attendance Awareness Campaign throughout the school year: #SchoolEveryDay @IELconnects
Corporate Sponsors

A big thank you to this year's Attendance Awareness Corporate Sponsors: French Toast and Kaiser Permanente.
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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