Attendance Awareness Campaign Update
A project led by Attendance Works
September 9, 2021
Transitioning Back to School for Younger Students

As we move through the hard work of starting school while responding to new outbreaks of Covid-19, remember that many preschool, kindergarten or even first grade students are going to in-person school for first time. The first few weeks will be critical for establishing a warm, welcoming relationship with families as well as communicating that school is a healthy and safe place for children.

Back-to-school this year will require more attention to taking a restorative, whole child approach to meet the needs of students and families. Learn more from the Whole-Child Design Blueprint from Turnaround for Children. While the pandemic has presented serious challenges, activities should be fun, engaging and leverage the joy of seeing young children progress whenever possible.

In a new Q&A published by New America, we answer questions about how schools and districts can engage with families with young children when individual, or groups of students, have missed too many days of school, and offer insights on how attendance data can determine which families should receive additional support. Read the blog post.

We’ve created a handout to send home. The new Get Ready for School flyer helps families with very young learners prepare for school.

Join us on September 14, 2021, 12:00 PT / 3:00 ET, for Safe, Connected and Learning: Reengaging Young Students and Their Families. During this webinar cosponsored by the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, superintendents will share how they are equipping schools, educators and communities to ensure young students show up for school and will share their vision for learning, based on what they’ve learned during the pandemic. This event is part of GLR’s Learning Tuesday series. Register!

Find new resources for first time learners in our Pathways to Engagement: A Toolkit for Covid-19 Recovery Through Attendance. Download our First Time Learners sample activities handout for families of PreK, K, and new first grade students.

NEW! We’ve translated the AAC Key Messages and Badges into Chinese, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Download them from the Attendance Awareness Campaign website.
Attendance Tools
This year it's critical to assure families that their school is taking every step possible to create an environment where everyone can be safe, healthy and learning. We’ve developed a new letter for principals or program directors. Send welcome letters to all families.

Many families, especially those with early learners, don’t fully understand the connection between chronic absence and academic achievement. Our Family Handouts are now available in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Take a look!
Student Attendance Success Plans and My Family’s Help Bank: These help families and caregivers to keep track of attendance and set goals at home. The Help Bank ensures families have a plan to get students to school when parents can’t. Download the resources.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published a set of questions for the public that parents can ask their child’s school to learn more about their Covid-19 precautions. The “What Is Your School Doing to Protect Your Child from COVID-19?” web page also has answers to questions CDC is hearing from parents and caregivers.
State News
California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, Washington State Department of Children Youth and Families, and the Governor’s Prevention Partnership in Connecticut are a few state-wide agencies that declared September National School Attendance Awareness Month. Watch for more state agency announcements.
CCSSO (Council of Chief State School Officers) released How are States Planning to Leverage their ARP Funding, which offers an analysis of the 35 state plans submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. It includes state examples and links to resources. Find the report.

Speakers are confirmed for AAC Webinar 4: Supported: Leveraging Attendance Data to Ensure Ongoing Success (revised title), Wednesday, September 29, 2021: 11am-12:30pm PT / 2pm–3:30pm ET. Hear from Todd Rogers, Professor of Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School; Charlene Russell-Tucker, Commissioner of Education, Connecticut State Department of Education; and Maribel Childress, Superintendent, Gravette School District, Arkansas. Register today.

Find the webinar recording, presentation slides and discussion guide for this and webinars #1, #2 and #3 on our website.
Hold the Date

October 13, 2021, 3:15pm-4:15pm ET: Join a webinar from the International Network for School Attendance (INSA), Addressing Chronic Absence: An Essential Strategy for Educational Equity in the United States. Attendance Works will share lessons learned about why chronic absence matters and how it can be reduced. Register!

October 27, 2021: We are working with National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) on a new webinar,  Reducing Chronic Absence: Insights from Successful Principals. Registration forthcoming.

Partner Spotlight
Healthy Schools Campaign (HSC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making schools healthier places for all students. HSC provides leadership development and tools to school stakeholders and advocates for better access to nutritious school food, physical activity, school health resources and clean air to shape children’s lifelong learning and health.

HSC has new resources for state and local education agencies with tips on using Covid relief funding to support student health and wellness. Find both guidance pieces on HSC's website here.
Spread the Word!

Sample Tweet

Join @attendanceworks @AmericasPromise @UnitedWay @readingby3rd @JHU_EGC @FutureEdGU @healthyschools @IELconnects & @MENTORnational for AAC Webinar, Supported: Leveraging Attendance Data to Ensure Ongoing Success (revised title) on 9/29 #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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