Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
September 26, 2019
Attendance is a Year-Long Topic!
As Attendance Awareness Month begins to close, it's important to remember that attendance efforts don't stop after the first month of school. Successful efforts to improve attendance are woven into school and district-wide plans. We've all seen absences start to add up as the holiday season arrives and winter illnesses set in. Here are some suggestions for maintaining momentum:

Parent teacher conferences, starting as early pre-kindergarten, are ideal opportunities for discussing attendance with families. Bringing attendance into these routine meetings can make talking about attendance as normal as discussing academic performance and classroom behavior. Find helpful tips in the Teaching Attendance 2.0 toolkit.
Attendance Works! 

Your gift will help fund more great resources to raise the awareness of the importance of attendance for educational equity and student achievement.
Attendance Works has developed calendars as a tool for planning activities and events that will keep a focus on improving attendance all year long. Find calendars for K-12 schools, districts, and a blank version so you can customize the attendance plan for your community. Download the calendars.
Attendance Tools

Not sure what to say to families about attendance? In collaboration with partners, we've developed talking points to help communicate about attendance with families in elementary through secondary school. Find talking points here.

Families of students in the very early grades might not be aware of the impact that missing too many days has on students' reading or numerical skills. Download our Family Handouts

Holiday Toolkit
Now is the time to begin reminding families and students why they need to follow the school schedule and avoid extending family vacations around the winter holidays. Results of a parent survey suggest that families would be willing to shorten vacations if they knew that absences are affecting their child's academic success. Consider getting this messaging out to families before they make their holiday travel arrangements. Download the Attendance Works Holiday Messaging Toolkit.
Research: Truancy Notifications

Truancy notifications that are written with simpler language and fewer words can improve their effectiveness and reduce student absences by as much as 40 percent, according to a new study by Attendance Works, Harvard University and UC Berkeley researchers. Using behavioral science insights, the team modified standard truancy notifications with clear, actionable information to help families feel empowered rather than threatened.  Find the research and sample revised notification letters.

Tweet it!
Truancy notifications that are written with simpler language and fewer words can improve their effectiveness and reduce student absences by as much as 40 percent, according to a new study by @attendanceworks, @Kennedy_School and @UCBerkeley #SchoolEveryDay
State Partners

The Arkansas Campaign for Grade-Level Reading partnered with Attendance Works on a series of videos showing successful strategies schools have implemented to help create a welcoming environment and ensure students are in school every day. The videos illustrate working with an attendance team; utilizing nurses, social workers and community partnerships to boost awareness; and improving school climate. Find the video series
We Belong in School!

Xavier Reed, an associate principal at a suburban middle school in Minnesota, says his school is working "every day to create an environment where everyone feels they belong." A main focus of this work is partnering with students' families. Teachers mail home "You Matter" postcards to every student, the school invites families in for focus groups and holds events that include childcare.  Read the full blog post from the Gates Foundation #PrincipalProject.
Superintendents Call to Action

The deadline is almost here! The Attendance Awareness Campaign convening partners are calling on Superintendents across the country to sign on to the national Superintendents Call to Action. We will publish a press release listing all those who have signed on by October 7, 2019. Find resources to help Superintendents make their efforts a success and a sample invitation letter to join the Call!  Find out more.  
AAC Webinars

Find the webinar recording,  presentation slides, discussion guides and other resources from all four webinars on our website.  Download these resources and watch when you have the time.
  • September 10:  A Place Where We Belong: Improving Conditions for Learning
  • August 8:  Open Doors: Create a Healthy School Climate
  • May 16:  Nurture Dreams: Ensure Students Feel Safe, Supported, Connected and Engaged
  • March 21:  Lay a Foundation: Engage Families to Address Chronic Absence in the Early Years
Facebook Frames

Announcing our new Attendance Awareness Picture Frames!  Find two new frames created by Attendance Works, using keywords chronic absence, chronic absenteeism, we belong in school or attendance awareness. Try It! 

Share Your Story

We are looking for your Attendance Awareness Campaign stories and images that show how you engaged people around school attendance with the start of the new school year. Please send us your photos or graphics and a brief description of your activities using the form on our Attendance Awareness Campaign website, and we will post it! Learn more.
Spread the Word!

We've developed new social media images for this year's We Belong in School! theme. Download them here.

Sample Tweets

Research shows that a positive learning environment can improve attendance, engagement, achievement, and student well-being. Another benefit: it can boost teacher satisfaction, attendance and retention.

Reducing absence goes hand in hand with cultivating positive conditions for learning. A new @attendanceworks & @AIRInforms report discusses how educators & policymakers can use chronic absence data to address inequities & improve student outcomes

Students are more likely to attend school if they feel safe, supported and engaged. #SchoolEveryDay 
Attendance in the News

Opinion: School attendance matters; A lot! Times Republican, September 21, 2019

Campaign Convening Partners
See the full list of Attendance Awareness Campaign partners here.
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