Chronic absence can be significantly reduced when schools, parents and communities work together to monitor and promote good attendance and address hurdles that keep children from getting to school. This is a problem that the teachers and schools cannot address on their own. At the same time, everyone has something they can contribute. For example,
- Parents can set the routines that help their children get to school on time every day.
- Preschool instructors and early care providers can help families and children build good attendance habits.
- Afterschool programs can reach out to the families of chronically absent children to uncover and address barriers to attendance and help children catch up with school work.
- Health care programs can take preventive steps to keep children from getting sick and ensure schools are equipped to address the needs of children with chronic illness.
- Advocates and policymakers can ensure that school districts are tracking chronic absence and analyzing patterns.
- Foundations can support public efforts to improve attendance.
These ideas are just a beginning. Taking action is a matter of common sense. Monitor the attendance data, and you’ll know pretty quickly whether your strategy works or needs to be improved.
Do you have a strategy that works for improving school attendance? Email Hedy Chang.
This section provides an overview of strategies. For more detailed information, please see the Tools section of our website.