Spring 2022, No. 2
A Note from the Executive Director
Photo by Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages
Our country is facing an attendance crisis, with chronic absence levels in some places three times higher than in recent years. We’ve heard from states and districts about their attendance messaging challenges and realize that simply emphasizing the impact of days missed on learning isn’t enough. We need to respond to the overwhelming stresses many families are experiencing and make the case that attending school is key to social and emotional well-being as well as academic success.

To help educators to continue addressing chronic absence as a strategy for recovering, we created a new messaging framework. Our new Showing Up Matters for R.E.A.L. toolkit provides a way to explain why attendance matters that is embedded in a whole child perspective. We hope this new toolkit helps everyone examine how schools as well as expanded learning programming can be organized to help students and families build Routines, increase Engagement, offer Access to resources and support Learning.

Showing Up Matters for R.E.A.L. offers a four step approach, and free, ready-to-use messaging resources to incorporate into regular school operations. The toolkit can be used today, throughout the summer and into the fall. Find the toolkit here.

Best wishes,

Hedy N. Chang
Founder and Executive Director
Research indicates that chronic absence has tripled and is dramatically contributing to educational disparities. Your gift – of any amount! – keeps our resources free for as many people as possible. Donate to Attendance Works here!
News Highlights
Attendance Awareness Campaign
We are excited to launch the Attendance Awareness Campaign 2022, along with our partners! This year’s campaign theme, Stay Connected, Keep Learning!, calls forth the critical need for relationships to address today’s high levels of chronic absence, and reminds adults to learn about the barriers that are keeping students from showing up and engaging.

Look for a special focus on addressing the pressing challenges facing students, families and educators. Download our 2022 Key Messages for attendance and a campaign badge to add to your website, social media or email signature line.
Resource Spotlight
A new brief by Michael Gottfried, University of Pennsylvania, and the Annenberg Institute at Brown University’s Lindsay Page and Danielle Edwards offers solutions to address today’s significant chronic absence. Developed around Attendance Works’ three tiers approach, the 6-page brief has links to examples and research that supports the interventions. Take a look at District Strategies to Reduce Student Absenteeism.
Policy Spotlight
Our guest blogger Carrie Hahnel, Senior Director of Policy and Strategy with the Opportunity Institute and a senior policy and research fellow with PACE, describes a proposed change in funding schools in California that moves away from the “average daily attendance” model to enrollment. A new PACE report finds that a funding formula switch could help California meet some goals, but it would remove a clear incentive for districts to focus on attendance. Read the blog post.
New research by Panorama Education shows the connections between attendance and social-emotional learning skills to get to the root causes of chronic absenteeism. Learn more here.
Register today for AAC webinar #2, What Promotes Engagement and Attendance? Insights from Students, Parents and Educators: May 25 at 12pm–1:30pm PT / 3pm–4:30pm ET.

Speakers will offer insights from students, parents and educators about the challenges of the past year, what cultivates engagement and showing up, and how we can best support them during the summer and during the return to school next fall. Register here!

More than 2,500 people registered for our Attendance Awareness Campaign kickoff webinar on April 6, “Keep Kids Engaged and Showing Up for Learning: Relationships, Routines and Partnerships.” View the recording and presentation slides. Register for the 3 remaining webinars!
Professional Development
Attendance Works also offers fee-based consulting services tailored to individual state agencies, school districts and schools, in addition to free resources and strategies. Find out more.
Attendance Works would like to express its deep appreciation to the foundations that are currently funding our work nationally and in communities across the country: Abell Foundation, The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Heising-Simons Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, Open Society Institute–Baltimore, The Patterson Foundation, Rogers Family Foundation, Stuart Foundation, United Way of Greater Kansas City, United Way of Treasure Valley.