August 9th, 2012
New Toolkit: Attendance Messaging
With the school year starting in a matter of weeks, it’s a great time to deliver the message that school attendance matters starting as early as preK and kindergarten and continuing through high school. But what’s the best way to share that message with families? And who’s the best spokesman to convey it?
Attendance Works aims to answer these questions in our new toolkit Make Every Day Count: Sending the Right Message About Attendance to Parents and Students.
Whether you’re launching an attendance campaign, releasing chronic absence data or simply planning a back-to-school night, it’s important to deliver the right message. Attendance messaging helps build a habit and a culture of attendance by helping everyone understand why going to school regularly matters and what they can do to ensure students are in school. Offering key concepts, tips and local examples, this toolkit is divided into the following sections:
- What is Your Message offers talking points for reaching parents, students, policymakers, businesses and other audiences.
- Who Conveys the Message tailors the message for different speakers.
- How Do You Convey Your Message details strategies for sharing the message through direct outreach to parents, incentives for students, logos, public service announcements, billboards, media outreach and social media.
Communities can shape these strategies to fit their needs. In Baltimore, for instance, a local television station followed community advocates as they went door to door this week in target neighborhoods where chronic absence typically runs high in kindergarten. The goal is to reach every family with a 5-year-old and encourage them to enroll their child now and show up for school on the first day.
Our toolkit includes materials and examples from several school districts, so that communities can learn from each other. If you’ve got strategies that have worked for you, please share with us.
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