Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
September 24, 2020
Covid-19 Calls for a Positive, Problem-Solving Approach
Although schools have launched a new academic year, almost everyone is still coping with stress and/or trauma. Responding to absences with positive problem-solving rather than blame or punishment is more urgent than ever before. 

What improves attendance is partnering with students and families to identify and address the root causes that lead students to miss school in the first place, whether absences are connected to a lack of digital resources, negative experiences in school or a lack of engagement. Root causes can also be related to misconceptions about attendance, such as sporadic absences aren’t a problem or missing two days a month doesn’t affect learning.

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.
  • Read our blog post to learn more about why a positive problem-solving approach is essential to improving outcomes and reducing educational inequities.  

  • Panorama is offering back-to-school surveys to help school districts understand student, family, and staff member experiences and feedback when the school year is back in session. This input can help districts and schools organize needed supports. Download the surveys

Attendance Tools
To encourage families and schools to continue to prioritize student attendance and engagement, United Way of Greater Kansas City collaborated with SchoolSmartKC and Turn the Page KC to create two short videos designed to support learning, whether lessons are virtual, in-person or both. These videos, featuring KC teachers, students and parents, are a great tier 1 support! 

Wondering how to adapt or expand your multi-tiered reform systems to reduce chronic absenteeism? Use our blank multi-tiered pyramid to develop interventions for each tier that fit the school’s circumstances. Identify community partners that can contribute by supporting or offering interventions. Download the blank pyramid
A community school is a public school that brings together educators, community partners and families to create the conditions necessary for students to thrive. Research shows community schools reduce chronic absence. Help celebrate Community Schools Coordinators Appreciation Week (September 21-25), using the Coordinator Appreciation Week Toolkit with sample social posts, tips for media outreach and ideas about how to celebrate. 

Contribute 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
The Connecticut State Department of Education released its newest guidance, Supporting Attendance and Engagement during Hybrid or Remote Learning (Addendum 14). The guidance describes how schools, districts and their partners can work collaboratively to make a difference by supporting student attendance, engagement and safety during Covid-19.
Research News

A new report from The Council of State Governments (CSG) Justice Center summarizes key findings from an unprecedented study of the impact of juvenile justice system involvement on school attendance in South Carolina. Rethinking the Role of the Juvenile Justice System: Improving Youth’s School Attendance and Educational Outcomes reveals that kids involved in the juvenile justice system in South Carolina not only didn’t experience attendance improvements, but their attendance actually got worse. The report raises concerns about whether some schools’ policies make it harder for justice-involved youth to succeed in school.

CSG Justice Center is hosting a webinar on September 29, 2020, 2pm ET that will review highlights from the study (above) and identify important implications for juvenile justice and school policy, as well as potential alternative approaches. Register here

In a new survey, the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools found that 80% of families asked said that direct contact between school and parents or guardians is a top priority this school year. The study of more than 1,100 families sought to understand the challenges of distance learning for Black and Latinx families, and to identify strategies that can help improve the distance learning experience. Read Listening to Learn: What Los Angeles Families Say They Need During Distance Learning.

On Thursday, September 29, 3pm ET, join our Twitter Chat cosponsored by MENTOR and FutureEd. 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

Our speakers from New York City, East Haven, CT, Butte County, CA, and Baltimore, MD, will share promising, trauma-informed approaches used by schools, districts and communities to engage and support students and families as schools reopen. Join us and the AAC Collaborating Partners for the third and final AAC 2020 webinar, Every Learning Opportunity Matters: Promising Strategies to Help Students Show Up, on September 30, at 11am-12:30pm PT / 2pm-3:30pm ET. Register! 

Find recordings of the live event, presentation slides and copies of the zoom chat for our two previous AAC webinars on our website.
Welcome New Partners!

We are delighted to announce two new State Partners in California: Families In Schools and the Partnership for Children & Youth. See our website for more.
Partner Spotlight
America’s Promise Alliance (APA) leads an alliance of organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce.

On October 1, 2020, APA will sponsor the release of the 2020 Building a GradNation report, authored by Civic and The Everyone Graduates Center. Hear from high school students and three former U.S. Secretaries of Education. Speakers will highlight the current challenges associated with high school graduation, and opportunities to move toward our national goal of a 90% graduation rate. Sign up here.
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.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweets

Join @attendanceworks @IELconnects & partners for the AAC webinar, Every Learning Opportunity Matters, on 9/30! Hear promising trauma-informed approaches used by schools, districts & communities to engage & support students during #Covid19 #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

We're celebrating Attendance Awareness Month! Let's remember that building strong, trusting #relationships with students & families that promote belonging is fundamental to improving attendance & participation. #SchoolEveryDay 

Community School Coordinators diligently love and serve their students and families. Let’s share our love and appreciation for them Sept. 21-25. #CoordinatorsRock
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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