Strategy 4: Connect with Families
Once you have taken stock of what you know and what resources are available, determine an effective strategy for engaging the student and family. If you don’t have a strong relationship to the family, consider consulting with a school staff member who has past experiencing working with the family, ideally with positive results, to identify is the best way to connect. If the student is new to your school because they are in the juvenile justice system or foster care, or for any other reason, consider connecting with staff at their prior school to find out what strategies were successful for the student in that setting.
Recent research conducted by the Ad Council for the Attorney General of California found that threatening messages or simply sending impersonal letters home are not effective strategies for reaching out to students and families who struggle with attendance. Rather, the best approaches are highly personalized and build upon the hopes and dreams families have for their children to succeed.