Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
August 25, 2021
Relationships Matter for Reengagement!

When school begins, building and sustaining relationships is more essential than ever for ensuring students show up for class, especially as Covid-19 continues to spread.

When families and students trust school staff, they are more likely to believe that the school environment is safe and will return to in-person instruction. Students who have a sense of belonging and connection to the school community are more motivated to attend every day. And when families are treated as partners in their child’s education, it is easier to resolve attendance barriers and ensure students continue learning even if they must miss school due to illness.

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!
Principal Brian Johnson and his team at John Bartram High School in Philadelphia are building trusting relationships with teens during the pandemic through Critical Conversations that encourage students to ask questions and speak honestly. The team uses data to inform their work, such as a Front Door intervention that connects students with attendance challenges to needed supports. Read our Bright Spot.

Conducting relational home visits early in the school year can help establish strong partnerships. The Parent Teacher Home Visiting Project’s new resource, Trusting Relations First: A Toolkit for Healing and Recovery, emphasizes doubling down on our efforts to collaborate as equal partners to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, and to address the mistrust felt by many families of color. Find the toolkit.

Don’t overlook our Pathways to Engagement: A Toolkit for Covid-19 Recovery Through Attendance toolkit. Take a tailored approach to reengaging student groups, especially those who lost significant instructional opportunities during the pandemic.

Be sure to view the Count Us In! toolkit, updated for Covid-19, with ideas and new resources for your attendance awareness campaign.
Attendance Tools
Learning Heroes partnered with National PTA and Univision to create Team Up for Success, featuring research-based tools and resources for use throughout the year. Download a “Dear Teacher” letter for families to introduce themselves in the fall. View a new Parenting Minute video from WNET about building parent-teacher relationships. Find the resources.

The Family Insights Toolkit by EveryDay Labs is divided into three sections: Effectively Communicating with Families, Family Agency and Attendance, and Families as Assets to Learning. Find the toolkit.
A new tool can help you determine if every student in your school is supported by a meaningful relationship with a staff person. Consider using the Harvard School of Education’s, How-to Guide to Relationship Mapping, offered as a virtual and in-person resource.

Learning Policy Institute is updating its Resources for Reopening Schools with research and information on testing, tracing, vaccinations and a new section highlighting resources for California districts and schools. Find the resources.

Spots are still available in two groups of the Attendance Works Professional E-Learning series. Interact with Attendance Works team members and learn how to create solutions to chronic absence. Sign up for Group 4 (Sept. 23Oct. 1) or our Michigan-focused group (Sept. 22Oct. 2). Learn more and register.
Research News

Addressing social determinants of health, such as child health problems, may be an effective strategy to reduce chronic absence, promote parent engagement and foster equity in education, according to new research. Researchers at Johns Hopkins University surveyed 304 parents and 26 teachers from eight Baltimore City Public Schools. Find the study.
State News
Charlene M. Russell-Tucker has been sworn in as the commissioner of the Connecticut State Department of Education. During the ongoing pandemic, Russell-Tucker has been a crucial voice in supporting student attendance and engagement. Throughout her career, she has led school attendance and school discipline initiatives with a strong focus on equity and diversity. Read the press release.

We've confirmed speakers for webinar 4: Fully Present: Leveraging Attendance Data to Ensure Ongoing Success, Wednesday, September 29, 2021: 11am-12:30pm PT / 2pm–3:30pm ET. You'll hear Todd Rogers, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Charlene Russell-Tucker, Commissioner of Education, Connecticut State Department of Education; and Maribel Childress, Superintendent of Gravette School District, Arkansas share ideas for maintaining your Attendance Awareness Campaign throughout the school year! Register today.

Find the webinar recording, presentation slides and discussion guide for this and webinars #1, #2 and #3 on our website.

FutureEd and AASA are hosting a twitter chat on having an #EvidenceBasedSchoolYear Thursday September 2 at 8:00 pm ET. Click here for the list of questions the chat will be asking!

Join AASA and America’s Promise Alliance on August 25, 2021 for a discussion, Incorporating Youth Voice to Recover from Disruption. Two superintendents will respond to results from a survey of 2,400 young people on the challenges of the last school year, then will join young people in a discussion about what school leaders should do next. Register.
Partner Spotlight
Everyone Graduates Center combines analysis of the causes, location, and consequences of the nation’s dropout crisis with the development of tools and models designed to keep all students on the path to graduation. That includes tracking of early warning indicators, including chronic absence.

Everyone Graduates Center invites you to join Opening Doors to College for Underrepresented Students, a discussion about supporting high school students’ college readiness and access on September 24, 2021 at 2:00pm ET. Hear from three Design Challenge recipients as they discuss their projects. Register today.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

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

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: EveryDay Labs and Kaiser Permanente.
Attendance in the News

Op-Ed, What Will It Take to Get High School Students Back on Track? 3 strategies to boost graduation and postsecondary success, by Robert Balfanz, director of the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University, Education Week, August 18, 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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