Check out our Toolkit for City Leaders.
City leaders are well positioned to bring together school and community resources and improve school attendance. Here are 10 Steps Mayors Can Take. They can also:
- Get, share and monitor chronic absence data: Without the right information, city leaders often don’t know whether they have an attendance problem or how best to address it. Leaders should encourage school districts to look at how many students, starting in kindergarten, are missing 10 percent or more of school days.
- Make attendance a community priority: City agencies, volunteer organizations, church groups, foundations and parents can all help schools improve attendance. Mayors can establish task forces, set up presentations and rally support.
- Partner with school and city-funded agencies to nurture a “culture of attendance:” City leaders can use make the case for improving school attendance; use preschool and afterschool resources to promote good school attendance and encourage business and nonprofits to support incentives and mentoring programs.
- Identify and address barriers to attendance: City resources, from social service agencies to transit authorities, can help break down barriers that are keeping children from coming to school.
- Advocate for stronger policies and public investments: Local officials can lead the charge in pushing for policies that would adopt a standard definition of chronic absence, increase reporting requirement and establish attendance teams.
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