Teachers know first-hand that too many absences can disrupt learning, not just for the absent student but for the entire classroom. While teachers play a key role in improving attendance, we know that everyone in the school building— from the principal to the front office to the cafeteria—has a role in helping to improve attendance.
Missing as little as two days a month (or 10% of the school year) significantly impacts a student’s ability to achieve in school. Research shows that students who miss this many days struggle to learn to read by the third grade, begin failing courses in middle school and drop out of high school. Chronic absence is often overlooked because educators in many districts only examine truancy (unexcused absences) and average daily attendance (how many students show up every day).
In collaboration with our partners American Federation of Teachers, National Education Association and Parent Teacher Home Visits, we’ve updated our popular Teaching Attendance toolkit for educators. Teaching Attendance 2.0 shows that when schools and communities work together to provide a comprehensive, tiered system of supports to students and families—that address the reasons for student absences—they can reduce chronic absence.
Making a difference to a student doesn’t necessarily require extra work. Rather, it involves strategically infusing attendance and the power of positive relationships into everyday interactions with students and families.
We’ve developed four steps, or strategies for educators to use to improve attendance for all students. The four strategies are:
- Create a welcoming environment that engages students and families
- Engage families at parent-teacher or student-led conferences
- Use data to ensure early intervention and secure needed supports
- Advocate for a school-wide approach
The toolkit is filled with free, downloadable resources for everyone who understands that helping students get to school every day enhances the ability of teachers to teach more effectively.
Go to the Teaching Attendance Toolkit and learn more about what you can do to improve attendance.
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Attendance Works has updated its popular toolkit for teachers! Teaching Attendance 2.0 has new research-based messages, resources and strategies for helping educators reduce chronic absence by integrating attention to attendance into everyday activities. Download the toolkit summary and find the complete toolkit on the Attendance Works website.
Download and post toolkit graphics