Attendance Awareness Month Update
September 6, 2018
Continuing the Promise of ESSA: Data Matters!

We are delighted to announce this year's September Brief, Data Matters: Using Chronic Absence to Accelerate Action for Student Success, released by Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center! Based on data released by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights, the analysis compares differences in school chronic absence levels from the 2013-14 and 2015-16 school years.

The analysis also finds that the chronic absence rates in the U.S. vary widely by state and even within states, highlighting the value of collecting local data. The report shares a sampling of the tools available to schools, districts and community partners for identifying the causes of chronic absenteeism and developing solutions tailored to local challenges and resources. Recommendations for key partners illustrate how they can begin to take action or deepen ongoing efforts to improve attendance. 

State data reports and an interactive map from The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution allow anyone - from parents to policymakers - to explore the scale of the chronic absence at multiple levels: school, district, state and country.  Find the report here.

An Attendance Works webinar on September 12th at 2pm ET / 11am PT will explore the report highlights and provide guidance on using the state data and the interactive map. Register today!

Tweet It! 
The new report Data Matters @attendanceworks @JHU_EGC shows how you can use #chronicabsence data to interrupt patterns of inequity & improve outcomes for all kids, particularly our most vulnerable Ss, who deserve an equal opportunity to learn & thrive! #SchoolEveryDay

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Share Your Attendance Story!

Check out what communities are doing in this week's Share Your Story Spotlights! We are asking for stories that show what you are doing to reduce chronic absence at the start of the new school year. Submit a brief description of your activities -- as well as a photo or video link -- and your activity will receive a pin on the Share Your Story Map. It also may be featured on the Attendance Awareness Month website, in an AAM newsletter or on Attendance Works' social media pages.  Share Your Story now!
What to Do When

Release proclamations. Mayors and other elected leaders, school boards and superintendents can signal the importance of school attendance by declaring that September is Attendance Awareness Month. The templates can easily be adapted for state leaders, boards and national and community organizations. See our template proclamations

If schools open in September, hold first-day-of-school events stressing the importance of attendance. See what others are doing in the Share Your Story spotlight below!
Share Your Story Spotlight!

When it comes to Attendance Awareness Month, Birmingham City Schools in Alabama are all in! As part of the recent launch of the Birmingham Education Foundation's "All In" campaign, the mayor and superintendent of Birmingham knocked on doors to engage directly with parents of students. Birmingham's mayor, superintendent, police chief, and nine school board members each recorded short videos touting attendance facts and encouraging students to show up for success. Find the videos.

In Montana, United Way of Yellowstone County, Montana brought 16 public schools together this August to canvass their neighborhoods. Community members talked with  parents about school start dates and times. United Way and the Yellowstone schools will keep the momentum going throughout the year, running attendance challenges, providing success mentors to students, and overall seeking to live up to their message: "The Key is Only Three Absences a Trimester."

The Patterson Foundation has launched  the 4th annual Attendance Awareness Poster Contest for the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading in Florida. The contest recently expanded to a four-county region, and the Foundation expects tens of thousands of students to participate! This year's contest includes the use of the tagline, "Strive for less than 5 Days Absent" and a new music video. The campaign also has created a new attendance jingle and is encouraging participating elementary schools to have fun with the jingle by adaptation, including a change in style for the jingle, additional lyrics, or any kind of performance of the jingle! 

Portland, Oregon's Centennial School District is gearing up for Oregon state's attendance awareness activities by providing more information to Portland parents about the importance of reducing chronic absence. The district is also raising the understanding of its staff about the impact of too many absences. The increase in professional development will help set Centennial School District educators up for success in the coming year.

The Wisconsin Virtual Academy recognizes Attendance Awareness Month as an important time to reach their attendance implementation goals. This September, the Academy is encouraging students to develop good habits through the #SchoolEveryDay contest. Students are powering up to face the challenge of interpreting an "attendance superhero" through the creative medium of their choice. Whether it's through a video, photo, essay, or even a song, kids are inspired to be Here, Every day, Ready, On time to school. Find the contest.
Webinar Spotlight

Join us for the final AAM webinar, Team Up for Attendance: Data Matters on 9/12, 11-12:30 pm (PT) / 2-3:30 pm (ET). Learn how to use chronic absence data to take action to identify and interrupt attendance barriers before students fall behind! Speakers will discuss the key findings of our report from Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center, provide tips on using the interactive map created by The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution, and discuss the implications of this data for state legislators, community schools initiatives and health providers.  Register Now!

Tweet It!
Not sure how #chronicabsence data, soon to be in your state's report card, can be used to address this pernicious issue? Learn tips for using data to take action @attendanceworks @hamiltonproj @JHU_EGC @Munoz4Youth @SenBillFerg @healthyschools Register:

Missed our earlier webinars? Look online for the PowerPoint presentation and recordings of Leadership Matters, (3/28), working Together Matters (5/8), Community Matters (8/15). Find them on our website.
News Spotlight
Resource Spotlight

The Attendance Works Teaching Attendance Curriculum, an online, interactive educational program, is designed to equip teachers and school support staff with an understanding of the issue, and the guidance and resources they need to reduce chronic absences in grades K-12. Each course contains videos, reflections and opportunities to apply concepts throughout. Start learning today!  Register here!
Partner Spotlight

United Way Worldwide is engaged in nearly 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide. We bring people and organizations from all sectors of society together to improve EDUCATION, INCOME AND HEALTH, the building blocks for a better life and stronger community.
Sponsor Spotlight

A special thanks to our Attendance Awareness Month Campaign corporate sponsor, Scholastic, for its commitment to help ensure that every child is in school every day. Scholastic's investment makes it possible for us to provide you with free strategies and materials:

Scholastic - $20,000
Social Media

Tweet It!

#Chronicabsence data is a powerful tool for unpacking barriers to being in #SchoolEveryDay & developing solutions. Learn more @attendanceworks final AAM 2018 webinar on 9/12. @hamiltonproj @JHU_EGC @Munoz4Youth @SenBillFerg @healthyschools Register today!

Join @attendanceworks Team Up for Attendance: Data Matters webinar! Speakers will share examples of how they use data to unpack barriers to being in #SchoolEveryDay & develop solutions tailored to local challenges & resources. Register:

Facebook Post or Newsletter Item

Attendance Works and the Everyone Graduates Center have released, Data Matters: Using Chronic Absence to Accelerate Action for Student Success, a new report based on data from by the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. The report offers tools for identifying the causes of chronic absenteeism and for developing solutions tailored to local challenges. State data reports and an interactive map from The Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution allow anyone to see chronic absence at multiple levels: school, district, state and country. Find the report here.
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