Mission and Vision

Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of the important role that school attendance plays in achieving academic success starting with school entry. Our goal is to ensure that every district in the country not only tracks chronic absence data beginning in kindergarten or ideally earlier, but also partners with families and community agencies to intervene when attendance is a problem for children or particular schools.

Our three objectives are:

  • Build public awareness and political will about the need to address chronic absence. This includes extensive media outreach as well as working with key national organizations to spread the word about why this issue matters and explore the role federal government can play. It also includes explaining the critical difference between chronic absence and truancy.
  • Foster state campaigns by developing coalitions to advance state and local policies that promote tracking attendance for individual students and reporting on chronic absence to ensure schools, especially if they are low-performing, will intervene to improve student attendance.
  • Encourage local practice by providing technical assistance and tools to help communities, schools and school districts monitor and work together to address chronic absence. This includes creating peer learning networks and tapping skills and assets available from state and national organizations.

Read our brochure about what we’ve accomplished and what we can do.

See our handout on how Attendance Works can help, both with free tools and fee-for-service consulting.

Listen to a podcast of Director Hedy Chang talking about the perils of chronic absence  in the early grades.

Attendance Works is a nonprofit, 501(C3) organization affiliated with the Child and Family Policy Center, which is our fiscal sponsor. Our funding comes primarily from foundations and from contracts from school districts and communities seeking technical assistance.