Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
September 16, 2021
Paying Attention to the Transition into High School

Research shows that the transition to high school is not easy for many students and attendance often declines in the 9th grade. If left unaddressed, this easily translates into lower academic achievement and over time dropping out of high school. This is why it is crucial to pay attention to data. Early data from Connecticut and California show significant increases in 9th grade chronic absence last year.

Avoiding a dropout crisis involves intensifying support to incoming 9th and 10th graders who struggled last year. Educators and partners can focus on relationship building, offer academic support and monitor student attendance and engagement.

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 continue to adapt to Covid-19, and what they should have in place over time to improve student attendance and achievement. Donate today!
The Center for High School Success, which works in 155 high schools in six states, collected innovative practices that worked to engage incoming 9th grade students during the pandemic, such as adopting a 4X4 schedule and competency-based credit recovery. Find Stand Stronger: Stand-Out Practices from the Pandemic.

Mentoring has proven an especially effective strategy for teens who are chronically absent or at risk of becoming so. The nonprofit MENTOR has a portal with tips and resources for e-mentoring. As highlighted in our April 14 Attendance Awareness Campaign webinar, peer mentoring is also an invaluable approach.

Our Sept. 29 webinar, Supported: Leveraging Attendance Data to Ensure Ongoing Success (revised title), will offer a range of strategies for taking data driven action including promising approaches to support struggling 9th and 10th graders. Register here.

View our new video featuring Executive Director Hedy Chang explaining what chronic absence is and how schools, districts and community partners can leverage the Attendance Awareness Campaign as part of their back-to-school effort to respond and recover from the pandemic. We invite you to share the 4-minute video at your meetings, events, on your website or in other outreach.
Attendance Tools
Our updated family handout for middle and high school has messaging about keeping students safe and healthy and what to do if a student must stay home due to illness or quarantine. Now available in Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Download the handout.

We’ve incorporated lessons learned from last year’s experiences in updates of several key resources for students preK–12th grade, ranging from welcome letters to tools to help families track absences and develop back up plans. Find them on our website here.

Principals can make a difference by taking a team approach and using data to inform decisions and actions, as well as creating engagement with students and families as schools reopen. We were delighted to write an article for NAESP’s Principal magazine describing the important role principals play in improving engagement and attendance. Read the article, Present and Engaged.
Policy News

In a new report, the American Association of Caregiving Youth estimates that 5.4 million young people in the U.S. provide care for a family member. To keep these young people engaged and showing up can require flexible scheduling, social supports and other resources. Find the report.
Partner Spotlight
MENTOR is the unifying champion for expanding quality youth mentoring relationships in the United States. For more than 25 years, MENTOR has served the mentoring field by providing a public voice; developing and delivering resources to mentoring programs nationwide; and promoting quality for mentoring through evidence-based standards, innovative research and essential tools.

Mentor’s #BacktoSchool campaign is full of links to resources to support mentors who can support students’ social, emotional, academic and attendance success. Find Back to School resources for mentors here.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Register for AAC Webinar #4, Supported: Leveraging Attendance Data to Ensure Ongoing Success, on 9/29. Hear inspiring success stories & strategies for maintaining attendance throughout the school year: #SchoolEveryDay @IELconnects

For strong attendance this year, we all need to ensure kids continue to access learning opportunities even if they must quarantine or stay home due to illness. @attendanceworks offers expanded metrics for monitoring attendance: #SchoolEveryDay
Corporate Sponsors

A big thank you to this year's Attendance Awareness Corporate Sponsors: EveryDay Labs, 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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