Attendance Awareness Campaign Update

A project led by Attendance Works

August 23, 2022

Transitioning Back to School for PreK-6

Creating a culture of attendance and engagement can be accomplished when districts, schools and community partners establish an environment that promotes a sense of safety and belonging. Students at every grade level benefit from a warm welcome. Find ideas and tools for the early school years below.

Check out these routines or activities that welcome students to class every day. Students learn best when they feel safe and connected. Via Edutopia

Send home a letter at the start of school and set the tone for a welcoming and supportive school year for families and students. Find sample letters

Register today for AAC Webinar #4: What Works to Sustain Engagement and Attendance? Wednesday, September 28, 2022: 12pm-1:30pm PT / 3pm–4:30pm ET. Sign up here.

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Hedy Chang, Executive Director
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Attendance Tools

Introduce children and families to the value of consistent on-time attendance at the start of preschool! Our Early and Often toolkit has ideas and materials to help PreK children and families develop strong attendance routines. Find the toolkit.  

Partner with parents to ensure that the entry to school is positive and helps put in place a regular routine of attendance that lays a foundation for early school success. Download our Get Ready for School handout.  

Support a smooth transition to kindergarten. Find resources and inspiring examples to help schools, preschools and community agencies make attendance a priority in our Early Matters: Integrating Attendance Into Kindergarten Transition toolkit

Make sure to download the latest versions of our Student Success Plan and Help Bank with calendars updated for the new school year. Find them.


Researchers at University of Chicago used a low-cost strategy to reduce chronic absences at preschools. They sent personalized text messages to parents with information that challenged beliefs about absences in the early years (i.e., preschool attendance won’t affect academic achievement). This light touch strategy decreased chronic absenteeism 20% over an 18-week period. Find the study.


A study by Michael Gottfried and Arya Ansari explored whether absenteeism in kindergarten was linked to both short- and long-term executive function (EF) skill development. Using nationally representative data, they found that kindergarten absenteeism was linked to lower working memory and cognitive flexibility outcomes, suggesting long-term declines on EF skills seen through at least third grade. Find the paper


Join us on August 24, at 4pm ET, for the U.S. Department of Education webinar, Back to School Blitz: Strategies for Improving Attendance in the First 3 Months of School. Hedy Chang and US Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten, as well as parent and student voices, will discuss strategies to improve attendance. Register now!

Professional Development

We offer a three-part, online PD for educators. Participants will have a chance to interact with their peers and the Attendance Works team in breakout rooms. Learn how to support students and families and mobilize community partners to engage students. Register here.

Welcome a New AAC Partner!

The HEARD Alliance is a community alliance of health care professionals, including primary care and mental health providers. Its mission is to increase collaboration among primary care, mental health and educational professionals, to enhance the community’s ability to promote wellbeing, to treat depression and related conditions, and to prevent suicide in adolescents and young adults.

Corporate Sponsors

Thank you AAC 2022 Corporate Sponsors! Their support helps to make it possible for us to offer – at no charge webinars and resources that equip everyone to improve student engagement and attendance.

RaaWee K12 provides a highly robust collaboration platform where school districts implement best practices for tracking students’ attendance and managing interventions.
Safe and Civil Schools empowers educators to create safe and supportive school environments that promote student learning and lifelong success.

Attendance in the News

50,000 LAUSD students reported absent on 1st day of school, KTLA, August 16, 2022

Some states approve mental health sick days for students, Youth Today, August 15, 2022

A quarter of San Francisco public school students were chronically absent last year, San Francisco Examiner, August 5, 2022

Sample Tweet

Join @attendanceworks TOMORROW at 4pm ET, for the @usdoegov webinar, Back to School Blitz! Hear strategies for improving attendance as well as parent and student voices. Register now! #SchoolEveryDay

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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