Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
September 17, 2020
Personalize Outreach at the
Start of School
Do you know which students in your school are missing too many days or too many lessons this month that they are academically at risk? Using data from last school year can help determine the students who will benefit the most from relationship building and personalized outreach.  

Other priorities for engagement and support include students for whom contact information has been lost, students who have had difficulty participating online, students involved in special education courses, as well as those experiencing significant challenges due to homelessness, poverty and involvement in child welfare.  

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.
For these students, we recommend beginning the year with Tier 2 and Tier 3 interventions. Read more about using Tier 2 and Tier 3 strategies in our new commentary, A Tiered Approach to Ensuring Students are Present, Engaged, and Supported in the 2020–21 School Year, published by PACE. 

To help you to get in touch with students who have not been in recent contact with the school or district, try these Tips for Getting Contact Information on our Handouts and Messaging webpage.

In rural Maine, outreach related to attendance done by all of the teachers in a school helped build the relationships that engaged students and families even when learning was offered remotely. Read about Waterboro Elementary.  

Actions in the Sacramento City Unified School District in California demonstrate the value of intensive outreach. Combining phone banking, assessments and home visits done safely allowed the district to locate all but 89 of the 1,646 students who could not be reached when schools first closed in in the spring. Learn more in the August 26 webinar, Equity at the Center: Strategies and Tools for Developing Better Learning Continuity and Attendance Plans.
Attendance Tools
An infographic from the Data Quality Campaign shows that from chronic absenteeism, to health issues to choosing a post-high school career focus, student data helps connect the dots so that students receive the support they need. Download Data Linkages Enable Individual Support and Shared Success

How can schools and districts capture attendance data during the first few months of this new school year? Michigan’s MTSS Technical Assistance Center interviewed Hedy Chang about how to monitor absenteeism in 2020-2021 and supports for students ranging from prevention to more in-depth intervention. View Monitoring Absenteeism: Interview with Attendance Works 

Misha Karigaca, Coordinator of Attendance and Discipline Support Services, Oakland Unified School District, explained how the district is monitoring new metrics and building dashboards to compare data across schools. Hear Karigaca’s presentation during the Institute for Educational Leadership’s #RiseUpForEquity Summit, in OUSD’s Guide to Attendance During Covid-19.
Policy News
Updated weekly, EdWeek’s national map tracks each state’s mandates or recommendations on K-12 school closures and openings. An accompanying table provides a more nuanced descriptions of what’s happening in each state. Find the Map: Where Are Schools Closed? 

Healthy Schools Campaign recently reorganized its website with a "hub" for state policy makers and school district leaders. The section offers targeted resources related to education policy and health services, and HSC’s School Health and Chronic Absence Diagnostic Tool
State News
The Connecticut State Department of Education released simple, clear guidance for attendance during distance learning. A remote student can be considered as being "in attendance" on a particular day if the total time spent on one or more of four activities equals at least half the school day. Download Tracking Daily Attendance on Remote Days in 2020-21

CSDE's new Reframing and Reopening: School Discipline Amidst COVID-19 Guidance offers information for addressing a possible an increase in anxiety, stress, and behavioral issues among students.
Research News

A new federally funded evaluation from the American Institutes for Research (AIR) suggests that texting parents may be an effective way to reduce chronic absence in elementary school. The adaptive messaging strategy improved attendance for all students, with the largest reductions in chronic absence for students who had a prior history of high absences. Read about Can Texting Parents Improve Attendance in Elementary School? A Test of an Adaptive Messaging Strategy
The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading (CGLR), in partnership with Attendance Works, has released a brief analyzing 33 success stories submitted by 28 different communities through their What Works Challenge competition. Two-thirds of the stories offered evidence of measurable improvement. Find the brief

A brief from EveryDay Labs evaluates the impact of combining personalized text messages with a chat bot that responds to questions from families, and shows this approach can reduce absences during remote learning. Find the brief, Preventing Absences in a Remote Environment: An Evaluation of Evident in a Large Urban District.

Join our AAC 2020 Twitter chat!
Save the Date: On Thursday, September 29, 3pm ET, join our Twitter Attendance Chat cosponsored by MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, FutureEd and Attendance Works. We'll be chatting about the increased need in today’s uncertain world for trusting relationships between caring adults and students, and how to develop relationships virtually or in person that encourage attendance and participation.

Sample Tweet
We'll be chatting on 9/29, 3:00 pm ET, about how caring adults help students build trusting relationships, developed virtually or in person that encourage attendance & participation. Join @attendanceworks @MENTORnational @FutureEdGU #MentorIRL #SchoolEveryDay

On Thursday, September 24 from 2-3:30pm ET, America’s Promise Alliance will host the final webinar in the GradNation Acceleration Initiative Webinar Series. During this conversation, speakers will reflect on what it means to build partnerships from a shared vision, create trust through authentic relationship-building, and center youth needs in decision-making. Register here.

Join us and our AAC Collaborating partners for our third and final AAC 2020 webinar, Every Learning Opportunity Matters: Promising Strategies to Help Students Show Up, on Wednesday, September 30, at 11am-12:30pm PT / 2pm-3:30pm ET. Our speakers will share promising approaches used by schools, districts and communities to engage and support students and families in this initial transition to school. Register

Find recordings of the live event, presentation slides and copies of the Zoom chat for our two previous AAC webinars on our website.

Tweet It!
Join @attendanceworks @IELconnects final AAC webinar, Every Learning Opportunity Matters, on 9/30! Hear promising approaches used by schools, districts & communities to engage & support students & families during #Covid19. #SchoolEveryDay
Welcome New Partners!
This week we welcome two new collaborating partners:
Partner Spotlight
Campaign for Grade-Level Reading is a collaborative effort by foundations, nonprofit partners, states and communities across the nation to ensure that more children in low-income families succeed in school and graduate prepared for college, a career and active citizenship.

CGLR’s August 11 webinar showcasing attendance initiatives in Oregon, Maine and Mississippi highlight how earlier investments in reducing chronic absence can pay off later. View Leveraging the Power of Data and Relationships: Addressing Chronic Absence in Rural Settings
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

Dallas ISD Celebrates Attendance Awareness Month,, September 9, 2020

Just as schools were closing due to Covid-19, Moshe Fried, CEO of ClasStars interviewed Executive Director Hedy Chang. Hedy explains how chronic absence monitoring helps schools focus their resources and what schools can do to encourage attendance. Hear the podcast.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Absenteeism is a lost opportunity to learn. This year in particular, we can’t afford to think of absenteeism as merely a lack of compliance with school rules. #SchoolEveryDay #AttendanceAwarenessMonth

Join @attendanceworks @IELconnects for the final AAC webinar on 9/30! Speakers will share promising approaches that encourage attendance & how these strategies can support positive conditions for learning throughout the academic year. Register: #SchoolEveryDay

Taking daily attendance & reviewing past #chronicabsence data will help districts & schools direct & offer needed supports to students in 2020-21. Here's a framework @attendanceworks for monitoring absences in distance or hybrid learning: #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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