Among middle and high school students, it is important to empower students to develop their own strategies for getting to school and to monitor when absences add up.


In middle and high school, it’s important to target messages toward students as well as parents. Schools can engage students with incentives, contests and strong messaging. Sports stars can be particularly powerful messengers

Use these Attendance Works materials for outreach to parents:

Use these research-based handouts developed by the University of Chicago Consortium of Chicago School Research


A quarter of U.S. middle and high school students report that they are bullied at school, and about 15 percent of tho bullied student miss school because of it. See this handout from the Centers for Disease Control.


Get Schooled makes attendance a priority by providing celebrity wake up calls for students, attendance competitions among schools, and other resources.


Mentoring has proven an effective strategy for improving attendance among teens who are chronically absent or at risk of becoming so. Different models use school staff, peers or National Service workers.

  • Check & Connect assigns trained mentors to at-risk students to improve engagement with school and learning through close monitoring of their attendance, behavior, and grades.
  • City Year uses AmeriCorps members who commit to a year of full-time service in schools, where they work as tutors, mentors and role models. Attendance is a key focus.
  • Peer Group Connection; The Center for Supportive Schools uses a peer learning model to ensure a better transition from middle to high school.
  • RAMP: The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program uses group, peer, and individual mentoring to build on existing career development efforts by schools and employers.


In 2012, the Boost Up dropout prevention campaign, sponsored by the Ad Council and U.S. Army, released public service announcements targeting middle school chronic absenteeism by alerting parents to the direct impact of school absences on academic achievement and high school graduation. Boost Up provided an array of resources that communicate this message.

    • A television ad expresses the vital role of parents in getting their children to school every morning.
    • A radio ad repeats this message, using alarm clock tones to express the importance of honoring a daily routine of attendance.