A Letter from Director Hedy Chang

It’s been five years since we launched Attendance Works, and we’re so pleased that our messages about the causes and lifelong impact of chronic absenteeism are taking hold nationwide. With your help and hard work, we’ve changed the conversation on school attendance and persuaded school districts, states and now federal leaders to embrace a data-driven approach that engages the whole community in reducing absences.

But the demand for our services, materials and training is increasing faster than our resources. If you’re giving donations this holiday season, please consider a gift to Attendance Works to help us expand our work advancing student achievement by reducing chronic absence. Among this year’s highlights are:

  • The White House and four federal departments – Education, HHS, HUD and Justice — have just launched an initiative to reduce chronic absence by 10 percent a year. Attendance Works was deeply involved in planning Every Student, Every Day’s first event, a virtual summit on Nov. 12 that drew more than 1,300 for educators, social workers and community partners.
  • State policymakers across the country have adopted policies or programs aimed at monitoring and reducing chronic absence. From Hawaii to Montana to Connecticut, we are helping state leaders hold schools and districts accountable for improving attendance rates.
  • 57 national organizations have joined us as partners in Attendance Awareness Month, helping us spread awareness of chronic absence and its pernicious effect on achievement.
  • Nearly 200,000 people have visited our website so far this year and pulled down our free tools, handouts and promotional materials for combating chronic absence.

With your help, Attendance Works has shifted the paradigm on attendance, moving schools and policymakers away from punishing students for absences and toward working with community partners to help children and families overcome barriers.

We have a lot more to do this year: In the spring the federal government will release data showing chronic absence rates for schools, districts and states across the country. This will shine a spotlight on the sad reality that too many students are missing so much school that they don’t have an equal opportunity to learn.

We couldn’t have gotten this far without your hard work on the ground; now we need your help again.. We want to respond effectively and in a timely manner to the opportunities that come with the nationwide emphasis on chronic absence. A donation to Attendance Works would help us ensure we take full advantage of this upsurge in demand. Please consider contributing and helping us advance student achievement by reducing chronic absence.

Your gift is tax deductible and will support forging a national consensus on the need to monitor, report and address the effects of chronic absence. All donations flow through the Child and Policy Family Center, which is our fiscal sponsor and responsible for our accounting. I hope that you will stand with as and support our work as we work to reduce chronic absence and achieve better outcomes for all students.

Click here to donate through PayPal:

If you would prefer to mail a check, make it payable to:
Child and Family Policy Center
(Write Attendance Works on the memo line or send a clarifying note)

and mail it to:

Mike Crawford
c/o Child and Family Policy Center
Insurance Exchange Building
505 5th Ave #404
Des Moines, IA 50309

If you have questions, contact info@attendanceworks.org