Housing authorities nationwide provide homes for more than 1 million children younger than 9 from low-income families. Education is the best chance for these children to break the cycle of poverty. But they can’t learn if they’re not in school regularly. When students aren’t in school, it increases the likelihood that they will be involved in crime—either as a victim or a perpetrator. Keeping students in school every day makes for safer communities.

Housing authorities are uniquely positioned to address chronic absence, both as landlords to many low-income families and managers of housing vouchers for others.

If you’re trying to persuade your housing authority to get involved, use this Making the Case handout.

Strategies for Attendance Awareness Month include:

1. Host a back-to-school event or hand out fliers conveying the importance of going to school every day.

2. Help families build a habit of good attendance in the first month.

  • Develop a safe route to school and organize parents and volunteers to walk with students
  • Recruit parents to become “attendance ambassadors,” role models and liaisons between schools and other parents,
  • Ask your managers and staff to keep an eye out for children who aren’t in school and talk to families about why students are missing class.

3. Develop partnerships with schools  Create data-sharing agreements with local school districts .Join a coalition taking a community-wide approach to reducing chronic absence.