Wondering how to get started? New York City has developed this Toolkit for Principals, a step-by-step guide to launching a data-driven attendance campaign.
Assessing Chronic Absence and Attendance at Your School
In the end, whether chronic absence is reduced depends upon the ability of each school to make attendance count by monitoring data, promoting a culture of regular attendance and helping chronically absent students overcome barriers to getting to school on a regular basis. Below are several tools for you to make action happen where it matters most!
A Tool for Self Assessment
Use this tool to identify if your school is engaging in the practices known to help improve overall attendance and reduce the numbers of children missing so much school that they are academically at risk. The result should help you determine a plan of action that builds upon strengths, while recognizing the biggest gaps to be addressed to adopt an effective and comprehensive approach.
A Template for Analysis
This data report template offers a way to analyze chronic absence patterns in your own school. It helps to identify whether chronic absence levels are a problem throughout the school or concentrated among particular groups of students.
A Guide for Identifying Factors Contributing to Chronic Absence
Once you know whether chronic absence is a problem in your school and for which groups of children, it is important to begin examining what factors might be affecting attendance. This guide discusses how you can use quantitative and qualitative data to inform your understanding. It includes a matrix to help you analyze factors that contribute to chronic absence, as well as what assets might help in addressing the issue.
Addressing Chronic Absence at Your School
A Program for Reaching Older Students
Get Schooled combines celebrity visits, wake up calls, quiz shows and competitions among dozens of schools to encourage better attendance in secondary schools. Go the Get Schooled website and read about the program in this Attendance Works blog item.
Watch the October 12, 2011, Attendance Works Peer Learning Network Get Schooled presentation by Carol Rava Treat, director of operations and strategy for the Get Schooled Foundation. (00:17:46
Handout for Providing Attendance Incentives
One strategy for improving attendance is engaging students, parents, educators and community members in a campaign that offers positive rewards for getting to school on time every day.
Handout for Creating Attendance Teams
Schools can track chronically absent students and plan interventions using school attendance teams.
Confidentiality Forms for Volunteers
Community volunteers can provide an extra shift of adults to help manage attendance and track down absentee students. Several community-based organizations, such as City Year and Experience Corps, provide mentors. New York City has developed confidentiality forms for volunteers working in public schools.
- Download confidentiality forms for community based organizations
- Download confidentiality form for mentors
Kindergarten Transition Management
Attendance can suffer in the transition into kindergarten. The Ready Freddy website offers tips for managing that critical time.
Information for Parents
Getting parents on board is an important step to addressing chronic absence at your school.