Given the role that illness plays in school absenteeism, healthcare providers have an important role in ensuring students do not miss school unnecessarily because of chronic illness or lack of access to health care. Read this Making the Case handout to learn why health care providers should care about attendance and what you can do. Strategies for Attendance Awareness Month include:

1. Put up a poster in your waiting room encouraging good attendance

2. Talk to parents and students about the value of good attendance during back-to –school check-ups and share handouts

3. Join a coalition that is taking a community-wide approach to reducing chronic absence.

4. Support parents by providing firm guidance on when a child should stay home sick. When possible, schedule appointments before or after school, and encourage those visiting during school hours to go back to class after their appointments.

5. Target extra resources for students with chronic ailments–such as asthma, tooth decay or mental illness–that keep them from getting to school. 

If you have suggestions or improvements to the list, please send them to phyllis@attendanceworks.org.