As a group advocating for improvements in education and in the lives of children and families, you can play a critical role in ensuring attendance and chronic absence are addressed at the federal, state and local level. You can:
- Find out if data on attendance (total days absent and total days enrolled) is part of the state’s longitudinal student data base. If it isn’t, push for its inclusion.
- Advocate for the state to adopt a common definition of chronic absence (missing 10% or more of school) and then calculate and publically report on levels of chronic absence by district and school and student populations.
- Make addressing chronic absence a policy priority for the state and local school district particularly as they seek to improve academic achievement in underperforming schools.
- Encourage state agencies and districts to provide professional development and technical assistance on the development of early warning systems, starting with poor attendance.
- Build public awareness about why attendance matters by using the Attendance Works PowerPoint presentations and including articles about chronic absence in internal newsletters or submitting op-eds.