Spring 2016
A Note from the Executive Director
We are delighted by the federal spotlight on chronic absences in the newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act  and through the Every Student, Every Day initiative. In keeping with this momentum we are encouraging everyone to keep up the steady drumbeat of attendance awareness throughout the year, beginning with the start of school in September.

To that end, we've begun planning for Attendance Awareness Month in partnership with America's Promise Alliance, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Get Schooled, Healthy Schools Campaign, Points of Light, United Way Worldwide, and Everyone Graduates Center. Over 50 collaborating partners have already agreed to join us again to spread the word that all children should be in school every day they can. We'll be hosting the first of five webinars on April 12, and releasing our Updated Count Us In! toolkit on the same day. We hope you'll join us!

Hedy Chang
Executive Director, Attendance Works

Practice Spotlight
New Toolkit Provides Strategies for Preschools

Educators, policy makers and researchers all agree that early education in a high quality preschool prepares a child for learning and opportunities for success later in life. Early and Often: Showing Up in Preschool Matters, a new toolkit from Attendance Works provides templates, talking points and guidance for teachers and administrators to engage parents and students to strive for daily attendance when possible. It includes tools to crunch the numbers and identify students at risk for chronic absenteeism. 

The toolkit provides details so educators can:
  • Create a welcoming environment for children and families.
  • Establish a culture of attendance through messaging and engagement.
  • Recognize and reward children and families on a regular basis.
  • Notice when absences are adding up and guide efforts to address the issue in a supportive way.
View the Early and Often Toolkit  here.
Download a summary of the Early and Often Toolkit  here .

Attendance Awareness Month Planning Launch on 4/12

September is Attendance Awareness Month but planning begins on April 12 with the first of five webinars and the release of the revised Count Us In! toolkit. The toolkit includes updated resources for schools and communities and showcases successful efforts to improve attendance throughout the country. Our speakers on the April 12 webinar, " Motivating Good Attendance All Year Long," will present the latest strategies for leveraging positive messaging to prevent and reduce chronic absence. Don't forget to watch for future webinars on May 17, August 16, September 8, and November 1. Last fall, over 400 communities pledged to pursue activities that promote good attendance, and that number is already climbing this year!

Register for the April 12 Webinar  here.
Sign up for regular updates.

Research Spotlight

Publicly-Funded Early Childhood Programs Give Kids a Boost 

A policy brief from Baltimore Education Research Consortium , released in March, finds that children enrolled in publicly provided early childhood programs are more likely to be kindergarten ready and less likely to be chronically absent. Children in Baltimore who attended Head Start followed by Pre-K, or Head Start for two consecutive years, were 3.6 and 1.3 times more likely be kindergarten ready than students not enrolled in these programs, and were less likely to be chronically absent, or miss more than a month of school, compared to children who did not enroll in these programs.  

The brief also finds that the most vulnerable populations, such as children whose mothers had completed less than 12 years of schooling at the time of the child's birth, benefit the most from publicly funded early education programs.

Missed Days in September Lead to Chronic Absence All Year

Mississippi KIDS COUNT , located at Mississippi State University's Social Science Research Center, released Counting the Future, Early Attendance Charts a Path for Future Success in Mississippi Schools, in February. This policy brief on chronic absenteeism expands on the 2015 results by using student-level data to investigate the effects of chronic absence on student outcomes.  The researchers found that Mississippi students who missed between 2 to 4 days in September were five times more likely to be chronically absent for the remainder of the year than those who missed less than two days. In addition, in Mississippi, poor attendance in kindergarten and first grade was associated with lower 3rd grade reading levels.  It ends with suggested action steps for a variety of stakeholders.

Policy Spotlight

California Joins States in Tracking Student Attendance Data

In February, California's Department of Education said it will begin tracking student attendance in the 2016-17 school year. Recent analysis shows there are an estimated 230,000 chronically absent students in the state. The CDE's decision will arm policy makers and educators with a key tool to move the needle on getting more kids in school every day.

This new data set will be added to the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), which includes student demographics, course data, and other data for state and federal reporting. The new numbers will allow the state and districts to target their resources to English language learners, children in foster care, and other students with challenges to attendance.

US DOE Seeks Proposals for National Summit on Chronic Absence

The US Education Department is accepting workshop proposals for the national summit on chronic absence on June 8-10 in Washington, DC. Teams of states, school districts, early learning programs, and cross-sector system leaders have been invited to, Every Student, Every Day National Conference: Eliminating Chronic Absenteeism by Implementing and Strengthening Cross-Sector Systems of Support for All Students. Invited participants can submit workshop proposals by April 15, 2016.

About Attendance Works
Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success. We aim to ensure that every school in every state not only tracks chronic absence data for its individual students but also partners with families and community agencies to help those children.

Be sure to follow us on Twitter and Pinterest and like our Facebook page!

Facebook    Twitter     Find us on Pinterest
Support Attendance Awareness 2016!
Help advance student success by donating here to Attendance Works. Our Attendance Awareness Month resources such as the Count Us In! toolkit and the five webinars are available free of charge for everyone. Your contribution will enable us to continue our work empowering districts, schools, communities, and families in the vital work of getting kids to school every day possible. Please consider a tax-deductible donation at a level that works for you.

Bronze Attendance Champion:
Silver Attendance Champion: $500-$999

Gold Attendance Champion:
$1,000 or more

Upcoming Webinars
Tuesday April 12, 2016
 Motivating Good Attendance All Year Long,
11-12:30 pm (PT) / 2-3:30 pm (ET). Register here !

In the News

Contact Us

For more information contact:  info@attendanceworks.org