Summer 2022, No. 1
A Note from the Executive Director
Photo by Allison Shelley for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action
As schools and districts wrap up the school year and move into summer, many are sending chronic absence data to state departments of education.

Despite the significant chronic absence rates in so many places, we encourage all states, districts and schools to collect and publicly release data, so stakeholders can see and address inequitable access to learning opportunities. Data also enables everyone to identify promising practices worth adopting, and enables everyone to celebrate when progress has been made.

We gathered information from 45 states and the District of Columbia and found significant progress in collecting and releasing attendance data. Read more in our NEW report, Monitoring Who Is Missing Too Much School.

The new Summer Learning page in our Showing Up Matters for R.E.A.L. toolkit offers schools and program providers ideas for using R.E.A.L. to help families with Sign Up, Show Up, Follow Up and Level Up!

When adapting R.E.A.L. (Routines, Engagement, Access to resources and Learning), consider where people in your school community have the greatest challenges. Get to know families so you can decide which talking point(s) make most sense.

Watch me discuss the chronic absence crisis and what we can do about it, on CBS Mornings, Connecticut school district gets creative in addressing school absences.

It has been another brutally challenging year in so many of our schools. I hope everyone has a restful, restorative summer and finds some time for fun.

Best wishes,

Hedy N. Chang
Founder and Executive Director
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Hedy Chang, Executive Director
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News Highlights
Attendance Awareness Campaign
We’ve translated our 2022 campaign slogan into four languages! Download a banner to add to your website or social media page. Also find 2022 badges in four languages. Add one to your email signature or a family handout.

We saw over 2,800 people register for the May 25 webinar, What Promotes Engagement and Attendance? Insights from Students, Parents and Educators. Read a quick summary of each speaker’s presentation, and find the event recording and slides on our webinar page.

Register today for AAC webinar #3, Ensuring a Welcoming, Healthy and Restorative Start to School, August 3 at 12pm-1:30pm PT / 3pm–4:30pm ET. Speakers will talk about strategies and resources that work for supporting a healthy and restorative start to the school year this fall. We’ll also offer approaches for laying a foundation of effective attendance messaging and practice. Register here!
Resource Spotlight
Activities to address today’s high levels of chronic absenteeism will benefit from an extra set of adults to mentor at-risk students, visit homes and help families get their children to school on time every day. Find updated resources to help you find and leverage Volunteers and National Service organizations.

Download a new case statement to help you persuade Volunteers and National Service members to get started on the important work of improving school achievement by reducing chronic absence. Find the case statement.

Join us on June 21 for a Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, #LearningTuesdays free webinar on improving outcomes for our early learners by developing teachers, leveraging data and building relationships with families to improve attendance. Register here!
National Data Spotlight
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education analyzed the latest national chronic absence data for the 2019-20 and 2018-19 school years and found a likely undercount for 2019-20. The results show that determining how many students are chronically absent is not so easy, especially during the pandemic. Read our blog post.

Find your local data using Attendance Works free data tools. We’ll release updated versions of the Attendance Works District and School Attendance Tracking tools this summer that can better capture information about students experiencing extreme chronic absenteeism (missing 50% or more of school). After the school year ends is an excellent time to examine who was chronically absent last year. Learn more.
New Research
In a new working paper, researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University School of Medicine find that students who experience a school shooting are more likely to be chronically absent, repeat a grade and may not graduate high school. Find the research, Trauma at School: The Impacts of Shootings on Students' Human Capital and Economic Outcomes.
Professional Development
We've opened new dates in August and September for our three-part e-training for educators. Participants will learn proven, evidence-based, tiered strategies to promote attendance and engagement using a team approach. Learn more and register here!
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.