Teachers and principals know first hand that too many absences can disrupt learning, not just for the absent student but for the entire classroom.

Teachers

To help teachers build a culture of attendance and maintain it throughout the school year, Attendance Works has created this toolkit, “Teaching Attendance: Everyday Strategies to Help Teachers Improve Attendance and Raise Achievement.” The strategies include: 

  • Emphasize attendance from Day One
  • Use parent teacher conference to talk about attendance
  • Promote a culture of attendance all year long

Principals

Principals can create a culture of attendance in their school and marshal the data to intervene with students who are missing too much school.  Principals should consult Leading Attendance: A Toolkit for Principals. The strategies include:

All educators can use these ideas for Attendance Awareness Month:

1. Convey the importance of good attendance to parents and students and the adverse consequences of too many absences

2. Host student assemblies offering incentives or contests for good attendance. Launch poster and video contests.

3. Host parent summits reinforcing the value of attendance and providing resources for families who face health, transportation or other barriers to getting to school

4. Crunch chronic absence data to see if your school has a problem and which students, classrooms or neighborhoods are most effective.

5. Create or participate in a school-based team that monitors chronically absent students and develops interventions.

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