SUMMER 2019
A Note from the Executive Director
Summer is the perfect time to begin developing year-long attendance plans. We know that improving chronic absence isn’t a one-shot deal. Many times, we’ve seen schools or districts start strong and then absences start to add up as the holidays arrive and winter illnesses set in. We also know that a sustained approach to reducing chronic absence needs to be tailored to local realities, and not be something that sits off to the side, easily disregarded.

Attendance Works has developed a year-long planning calendar for schools with example activities to do before the start of class (July-August) through year end (May-June). The calendar can be edited to include your own ideas or enlarged for a collaborative group project. Find the Attendance Activities School Year Plan.

Learning opportunities over the summer months are key to helping keep students excited and ready for learning in the fall. The National Summer Learning Association focuses on the powerful impact of investing in summer learning to help close the achievement gap. Find resources and celebrate National Summer Learning Week July 8-13.

Don’t miss the Attendance Awareness Campaign website to learn how everyone, from educators to health professionals, to local agency and business partners can help to create welcoming and engaging schools that encourage daily attendance. The Count Us In! toolkit is loaded with strategies, resources and ideas. Watch for updated materials for the Superintendents Call to Action. We'll be hosting two more webinars in the months to come. Have a wonderful summer! 

Best wishes,

Hedy N. Chang
Our ability to continue to provide free resources and tools, webinars, technical assistance and guidance depends on our foundation partners, colleagues and you. Your tax-deductible donation will ensure all students an opportunity to thrive, do well in school and succeed. Donate now .
Next AAC Webinar!
Thursday, August 8, 2019:
Open Doors: Create a Healthy School Climate

2-3:30pm ET/ 11am-12:30pm PT

Registration coming soon!
News Highlights
Resource Spotlight
The new book, Handbook of Student Engagement Interventions: Working with Disengaged Students, includes a chapter on Chronic Absence: A Sign to Invest in Conditions for Learning. Written jointly by Mara Schanfield and David Osher of American Institutes for Research and Attendance Works Executive Director, Hedy N. Chang, the chapter offers some promising practices for promoting engaging school conditions to decrease chronic absence and improve attendance. With a focus on translating research into best practice, the book pulls together the current research on engagement in schools and empowers readers to craft and implement interventions. Find the book.

Teaching Attendance Online Curriculum 
The Teaching Attendance Curriculum can be watched by staff at any time over the summer, making it an ideal resource that can encourage all the members of a school community to support a school-wide approach to reducing chronic absence. Developed for principals, teachers and school support staff, the curriculum is a research-based, comprehensive educational program that offers an understanding of the issue, as well as the guidance and resources to reduce chronic absences in grades K-12. Sign up for the curriculum here
State News
The Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction is calling on Superintendents in the state and across the country to sign on to the Attendance Awareness Campaign Superintendents Call to Action! In a new video, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdel urges his colleagues to take a moment as the school year ends to plan for next year’s efforts to reduce chronic absenteeism. “Next September, like all Septembers, is Attendance Awareness Month, and I hope you will take time right now to really focus on that,” Reykdel says. Watch the video.  

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond announced the 23 school attendance programs recognized as Model School Attendance Review Boards (SARBs) for outstanding practices to reduce chronic absenteeism at the district level. Each program provided necessary supports to students who are the most vulnerable and at risk of becoming chronically absent. “I hope that other districts will follow the lead of the model SARBs and replicate their methods so we can get all of our students back in class and on the pathway to graduation and a successful future,” Thurmond said. Find out more.

Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education has released Attendance Matters, a new brief explaining why the Hawaii State Department of Education (HIDOE) has focused on chronic absenteeism in its Strategic Plan. This brief explores examples that show why chronic absence rates have been made a student success indicator, and the importance of schools and communities working together to solve the problem. HIDOE promotes and facilitates timely and user-friendly data to assist with strategic decision-making and accountability for student success. View the brief.
Research Spotlight
SchoolHouse Connection’s latest report has data on the impact of homelessness on chronic absence and offers some helpful recommendations for schools and districts on supports. Risk and Resilience: Differences In Risk Factors And Health Outcomes Between Homeless and Non-Homeless Students In 2017 YRBS Data, found that students experiencing homelessness were 5.23 times more likely to miss school due to safety concerns compared to students not characterized as experiencing homelessness. Find the research.

Home visits that follow the Parent Teacher Home Visits (PTHV) model can improve attendance while also boosting student achievement. Three recently completed research studies have validated this approach. Schools that follow the PTHV model report that it leads to teachers changing their thinking about students, to teachers who are better at engaging students and who can show more empathy. Home visits impact families too, who often change their thinking about school and begin to communicate more openly. Read the research
Event Spotlight
Attendance Works will be speaking during IEL's annual National Family & Community Engagement Conference July 11-13. Join a community of over 1,000 attendees for three days of learning, networking and inspiration. Learn more and register.
Attendance Awareness Campaign
Over 3,400 people have registered for an Attendance Awareness Campaign 2019 webinar! This year’s series is emphasizing how communities work together to improve student attendance. 

Coming Up!

August 8: Open Doors: Create a Healthy School Climate, will feature speakers who will talk about creating a healthy, welcoming and positive learning environment for all grades. Watch for the registration link. 

September 10: A Place Where We Belong: Improving Conditions for Learning, will present our September brief and examine how we can address barriers to attendance in school and in the community. We’ll also walk through a new chronic absence data map developed by The Hamilton Project at Brookings Institution.

Missed a webinar? Find the PowerPoint presentation, discussion guide and recording on our website for Lay a Foundation, and Nurture Dreams
Consulting Services
Need assistance starting a program to address chronic absence, or want to dig deeper to provide interventions to students who are missing too many days? In addition to free resources and strategies, Attendance Works offers fee-based consulting services tailored to individual state agencies, school districts and schools. Find out more.
Attendance Works would like to express its deep appreciation to the foundations that are funding our work nationally and in communities across the country: The California Endowment, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, First Five San Francisco, Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, Hellman Foundation, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Kaiser Permanente Northwest, Los Angeles Partnership for Early Childhood Investment, Open Society Institute–Baltimore, S.H. Cowell Foundation, San Francisco Foundation, Skillman Foundation, Stuart Foundation, United Way for Southeastern Michigan, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.