Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
October 1, 2020
Use Data from September to Identify Practices that Make a Difference 
As schools reopen throughout the country, monitoring whether students are showing up to class, no matter the approach, has never been more essential. Monitoring data now helps us take actions to stave off worse problems later.  

When students miss class, it indicates something didn’t go as planned. If large numbers of students are absent, it suggests challenges that require systemic solutions to address problems such as digital connectivity, lack of access to health care or even widespread confusion among school staff about how to take attendance accurately. 

Our work with schools, districts and states is helping educators and their partners think strategically about how they can effectively support students and families during Covid-19, and what they should have in place over time, to improve attendance, educational equity and student achievement. Donate here.
  • Combine a review of absence data with family and community engagement. Family and community insights, assets and experiences can help districts and schools understand barriers and what helps students show up for class despite challenges. Read our blog co-written with the Institute for Educational Leadership: Crisis or Not, Family and Community Engagement Benefits Schools

  • The United Way of Central New Mexico, Mission Graduate hosted a virtual Attendance Team Workshop that clarified state guidance, reinforced how to take a team approach, offered best practices for supporting students and families, created opportunities to share what’s working as schools reopened, and urged continued data monitoring. Find the presentation.  

Attendance Tools
The most effective and sustainable approaches to improve student attendance and participation are supported by district, school and community leadership. Our updated Key Ingredients of Change reflect the many challenges presented by Covid-19, show how we can take a systems-level approach to improving attendance, and can be applied to district and state-level action and policy. 
Launched in September, Keep Learning California (KLC) provides tools and resources that families and educators can use to help keep elementary aged children learning and participating in school every day and that will help ensure the education equity gap doesn’t widen whether classes are remote, in-person or a blend. While focused on California, KLC’s bilingual materials may be useful in other states. KLC is a collaborative effort from Attendance Works, Families In Schools, and Parent Institute for Quality Education.  

Forming quality connections can be especially hard now that much of it must be done virtually. As part of its Back to School resources, MENTOR offers ideas on how to address this challenge in a webinar on relationship-based virtual mentoring. View the webinar. 

Taking action to infuse SEL into schools will help address trauma. Transforming Education has revised its SEL Integration Approach. It now links to five Companion Guides, one for each of the components critical to integrated social, emotional and academic learning. Learn more.

Add to Attendance Works resources: Have you adapted attendance strategies for virtual or remote learning aligned with your local, district or state guidance? Please email and share your innovation with us at
State News
In a new policy brief, Kevin Gee and colleagues at the University of California, Davis break down multi-tiered trauma-informed approaches in schools. The brief, Multi-Tiered System of Supports to Address Childhood Trauma, summarizes the existing evidence base, offers practices and resources and discusses the types of system-level supports that educators might need for fall 2020 and beyond to address and prevent trauma.
Policy News

The Afterschool Alliance completed a scan of state school reopening plans identifying where the plans see a role for afterschool partners. The brief offers examples of where states specifically draw out how coordination can take place. For example, Washington’s plan mentions the opportunity states have to bring new partners to the planning table and strengthen community relationships. Download A Review of State Plans for Re-opening: How to Maximize Afterschool and Community Partners as Key Allies in Enhanced Learning and Supports.

Calling all journalists! The Education Writers Association is hosting a webinar about addressing chronic absence in schools and districts. The free event on Friday, October 2, 2020 will feature Hedy Chang who will share information to help journalists gain a better understanding of student absenteeism this school year, and offer tips for asking the right questions and unpacking local attendance data. Register here.

We hope you have enjoyed this year’s AAC webinars! If you did not have an opportunity to view the live events, consider linking to our webinar recordings and watch with a group. Find the recording, presentation slides and relevant links for each webinar on our website! 

Afterschool Alliance’s October 1, 2020 webinar will focus on what we know about the effects of adversity on child and adolescent brain development, with an eye toward why trauma-informed practices are so important, and practical tools and strategies for programs to employ when working with youth who may be dealing with trauma. Register.
Partner Spotlight
Since 1964, the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has been at the forefront of innovative efforts that bring together leaders across the various sectors of education (P-20), workforce development and child- and youth-serving systems. IEL builds partnerships across institutional boundaries, helping tackle leadership challenges and leverage the resources of multiple partners to foster reform.
Thank You Corporate Sponsors!

We’d like to send a special thanks to our Attendance Awareness Corporate Sponsors: EveryDay Labs, French Toast, Kaiser Permanente, and Safe & Civil Schools. Find out more on our webpage.
Attendance in the News

Handley students create the school's first Black Student Union, The Winchester Star, September 28, 2020

Bay County homeless schoolchildren to get aid through state program, Panama City News Herald, September 18, 2020

In a second podcast, Moshe Fried, CEO of ClasStars interviewed Executive Director Hedy Chang, who talks about chronic absence in the context of Covid-19 and remote learning, how it is impacting students and what can be done about it. Listen to the podcast.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Education today is full of challenges. Right now, we can leverage and adapt what we already know is essential: we must deepen, not lessen, family and community engagement. A new @attendanceworks @IELconnects blog: #SchoolEveryDay 

This year in particular, monitoring attendance and active student engagement will need to take multiple forms and reflect the mode of instruction. Find @attendancworks new attendance metrics: #SchoolEveryDay

As Attendance Awareness Month draws to a close, let’s not forget that building strong, trusting #relationships with students & families that promote belonging is fundamental to improving attendance & participation. #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:

For more information contact:
Copyright © 2020 Attendance Works, All rights reserved