Upcoming Webinars and Workshops

Tuesday, March 28, 2017:  Reducing Chronic Absence:  It’s a Matter of 1, 2, 3!
(11:00 am – 12:30 pm PT / 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm ET)  Register here.

*Special Note: We have had a record number of people registered already and are likely to exceed the webinar room capacity of 500! Please note that once you register you will receive the webinar recording, PowerPoint slides and other materials whether you attend or not. You might consider organizing a separate session to watch with a group using the recording and discussion guide. Guests are welcome to log in 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the webinar on March 28.

What does it really take to reduce chronic absence?  Communities across the country are reducing chronic absenteeism by using a comprehensive set of strategies that:

1)  Prevents absences from occurring
2)  Organizes caring and early outreach to families and students before absences add up
3)  Coordinates supports and services for vulnerable students who miss the most school

Join us for the first of four webinars held as part of Attendance Awareness Campaign 2017! Highlighting what schools and communities can do to engage students and families and educate them about the impact of absences, this webinar will focus on universal attendance improvement strategies for all students. These strategies are the first of three tiers of action needed to reduce chronic absence.

Webinar guests will share innovative efforts from their communities such as the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading’s Attendance Awareness Poster Contest and the Allegheny County Be There campaign. We’ll also unveil the 2017 edition of the Count Us In toolkit, the essential guide for planning your community’s 2017 Attendance Awareness Campaign.

Don’t miss out!  Register today.



Workshops and Keynotes Presentations Archive

For the Peer Learning Network webinar archives, click here.

January 10, 2017


December 7, 2016

Every Student Every Day — No Matter What:  Realizing the Power of Chronic Absence Data to Ensure Safe, Supportive Schools.  Every public school student — no matter his or her race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, citizenship status, or other perceived difference — is entitled to attend a safe, supportive school that promotes daily attendance and ensures an equal opportunity to learn, grow, and succeed. In order to support state, district, school, and community leaders in delivering on this guarantee—no matter what—this virtual summit will feature leading practitioners, researchers, federal officials, and advocates from across the country who are leveraging chronic absence data to propel systems change that ensures high-quality, whole-child supports for all students.

The summit focuses on state and district implementation of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the opportunity to realize the power of chronic absence data to develop systems of support that improve student attendance and other important youth outcomes. This event is sponsored by the US Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Justice, in partnership with Attendance Works, Healthy Schools Campaign, Trust for America’s Health and Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University.


November 1, 2016

Attendance Awareness All Year Long. After Attendance Awareness Month is over, how can schools and communities reach out to families and students to encourage good attendance all year long? Join Attendance Works and our special guests as they share how to use attendance data to anticipate and counter dips in daily attendance that routinely occur over the course of the school year, ideas for leveraging the success of Attendance Awareness Month throughout the year, strategies for engaging families and students whose absences are adding up, and free resources for messaging all year long about the importance of attendance. Presenters include: Samantha Wigand, United Way Worldwide; Kim Nauer, The New School, Center for New York City Affairs; Brent Lynch, Jefferson County Public Schools; Terry Patton, Franklin Square Elementary and Middle School; and Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works.


October 11, 2016

Chronic Absenteeism: What Are We Missing?  Chronic student absenteeism is an important and often overlooked health issue facing schools and communities. Illness and poor health outcomes are leading factors driving chronic absenteeism, and students that are chronically absent from school suffer significant academic loses that can negatively impact lifelong health. This webinar, hosted by Grantmakers in Health, explained why chronic absenteeism is of interest to health funders, how philanthropy and federal agencies are tackling the issue, and how foundations and corporate giving programs can become involved in driving solutions. Speakers included: Hedy Chang of Attendance Works, Susan Dawson of E3 Alliance, Joaquin Tamayo of the U.S. Department of Education, and Madge Vasquez of St. David’s Foundation.


September 8, 2016

Ensuring an Equal Opportunity to Learn.  In June 2016, the U.S. Office for Civil Rights released its first national count of students who were chronically absent. The data showed a staggering 6.5 million students were chronically absent, which means that they missed so much school that their ability to read well and gain fundamental skills and knowledge for college and career was hampered. In the 500 most heavily impacted districts, over 30% of students were chronically absent. Join us as we release a major national study analyzing the data and more importantly, showing how leaders at the local, state and national levels can take strategic action to monitor and address chronic absence in order to ensure an equal opportunity to learn and succeed. Presenters include:  Samantha Wigand, United Way Worldwide; Robert Balfanz, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University; Charlene Russell-Tucker, Connecticut Department of Education; Mel Atkins II, Grand Rapids Public Schools; Chana Edmond-Verley, Doug and Maria DeVos Foundation; Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works.


August 16, 2016

Collective Action: Taking a Cross-Sector Approach.  Chronic absence — missing 10% of the school year for any reason — has negative consequences for students. Yet with the combined efforts of parents, schools, communities and agencies, it is a solvable problem. What does it look like when partners from various sectors such as education, health, housing, justice and business pool their resources to help families get their children to school every day?  Presenters include:  Samantha Wigand, United Way Worldwide; Susan Dawson, E3 Alliance; Dr. Kevin Riley and Treva Haugaard, Greater Omaha Attendance and Learning Services (GOALS); Ellie Rossiter and Uzuri Pease-Greene, Hope SF; Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works.


May 17, 2016

Using Data to Drive Action: Portraits of Chronic Absence.  What can we learn from states and communities that are already using their local chronic absence data to raise awareness about the impact of absences on student achievement? Join the partners in the Attendance Awareness Campaign as we focus on how state and local innovators are already using chronic absence analyses to galvanize action to reduce chronic absence. Presenters include:  Marci Young, United Way Worldwide; Betsy Hammond, The Oregonian; Cynthia Rice, Advocates for Children of New Jersey; Linda Southward, Mississippi KIDS COUNT; Toni Kersh, Mississippi Department of Education; Cecelia Leong and Hedy Chang, Attendance Works.


April 12, 2016

Motivating Good Attendance All Year Long. Our first Attendance Awareness Webinar for 2016 focuses on the latest strategies for leveraging positive messaging to prevent and reduce chronic absence. We will also unveil our 2016 Count Us In! toolkit. We invite new communities to launch Attendance Awareness Month in September as a step towards a year-round Attendance Awareness Campaign. Presenters include:  Marci Young, United Way Worldwide; Lysette Lemay and Yesenia Gonzalez, Parent Teacher Home Visit Project; Todd Rogers, Harvard University; Jill Habig, Office of Attorney General Kamala Harris; Josh Skolnick, U.S. Department of Education; Hedy Chang and Cecelia Leong, Attendance Works.


December 2, 2015

2015 Parent and Family Engagement Conference, National Head Start Association, San Diego, CA. Regular attendance is critical to ensuring young children benefit from the rich learning experiences offered in high-quality Head Start Programs. Join Attendance Works and the National Black Child Development Institute to find out why attendance matters for early learning children and explore effective hand-on approaches to help families and children develop strong attendance habits from the outset of the school experience.

November 12, 2015

Every Student, Every Day: A Virtual Summit on Addressing and Eliminating Chronic Absence. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Attendance Works, Everybody Graduates Center and United Way Worldwide, this online summit outlines key steps that states, districts and communities can take to improve student achievement by monitoring and reducing chronic absence.

Presenters include: Dr. John B. King Jr., Senior Advisor, Delegated Duties of Deputy Secretary of Education, USDOE; Eric Glaser, Director, U.S. Network Impact, United Way Worldwide; Leslie Cornfeld, Special Advisor to the Secretary of Education and Director, Office of Strategic Partnerships, USDOE; Joaquin Tamayo, Special Assistant, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, USDOE; Robert Balfanz, Everyone Graduates Center, Johns Hopkins University; Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works; Chris Caruso, Executive Director, Office of Community Schools, NYC Department of Education; Teresa Neal, Superintendent, Grand Rapids Public Schools; Mike Hermann, Executive Director Healthy, Safe and Supportive Schools, Tennessee State Department of Education.

November 4, 2015

School Every Day: What Effective Principals Do to Improve Attendance. What strategies do principals use to reduce chronic absence?  Effective principals — along with their committed team members — know that getting students to school each and every day matters. Join the California Department of Education, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading and Attendance Works as they spotlight the work of principals who have led their schools and communities to do the hard work of reducing chronic absence.

September 30, 2015

Getting Beyond Negative Perceptions about Parents: Key Insights about Engaging Parents in Ending Chronic Absence. Featured Guests: Ben Chida & Jill Habig, California Department of Justice, Office of Attorney General Kamala Harris.

September 30, 2015

Conditions for Learning Forum, Murfreesboro, TN


September 12, 2015

  • Reducing Chronic Absence: An Overlooked Opportunity for Raising Student Achievement, California County Boards of Education 2015 Conference, September 12, 2015 (PDF)
  • Reducing Chronic Absence: An Overlooked Opportunity for Raising Student Achievement, California County Boards of Education 2015 Conference, September 12, 2015 (PPT)
  • Do you know why the Local Control Funding Formula holds districts accountable for monitoring chronic absence? It is because investments in improving curriculum and instruction, including adoption of the Common Core – only make a difference if students are in the classroom. Chronic absence, missing 10% or more of school for any reason, as early as prekindergarten and kindergarten is associated with lower third grade reading scores. By sixth grade it becomes a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. In ninth grade, it’s a stronger indicator of dropout than eighth grade test scores. Low-income students, who don’t have the resources to make up for time lost in classroom instruction, are especially hard hit. Hedy Chang is the founder and director of Attendance Works, a national initiative headquartered in California, that seeks to equip every district in the country join together with community partners to monitor and turn around chronic absence so every child has the opportunity to learn and thrive. During her keynote, Hedy will share the latest data on why chronic absence matters and what are effective strategies for improving school attendance, especially for the students facing the greatest academic risks. She will especially explore the role that County Boards of Education can play in equipping districts and schools to utilizes chronic absence as a critical, but too often overlooked, tool for reducing the achievement gap.

September 9, 2015

  • Mapping the Early Attendance Gap (Presentation slides, PDF)
  • Mapping the Early Attendance Gap (Recording)
  • Mapping the Early Attendance Gap (Discussion Guide)
  • Download the report from Attendance Works and Healthy Schools Campaign: Mapping the Early Attendance Gap:  Charting A Course for Student Success
  • Read the in-depth state profiles for California, Rhode Island, and Utah
  • Leading Health Conditions Impacting Student Attendance prepared by the National Collaborative on Education and Health
  • Before we can close achievement gaps and reduce dropout rates, we need to address the attendance gaps that start in kindergarten, and even in preschool. Across the country, absenteeism disproportionately affects the students from low-income families and communities of color and those with disabilities. The early attendance gaps, left unchecked, turn into achievement gaps reflected in weaker skills, lower test scores and, ultimately, lower graduation rates. Many of these early absences are excused because of health concerns, but they still represent lost learning time. Building off a new brief from Attendance Works and the Healthy Schools Campaign, this webinar will explore when and why these gaps develop and how we can use data to target interventions.
  • Presenters: Eric Glaser, Director, U.S. Network Impact, United Way Worldwide; Brittany Moore, Manager, Alliance Engagement, America’s Promise Alliance; Mark Bishop, Vice President of Policy, Healthy Schools Campaign; Yolie Flores, Senior Fellow, Campaign for Grade-Level Reading; Gordon Jackson, Director, Coordinated Student Support Division, California Department of Education; Jill Habig, Special Assistant Attorney General for California Attorney General Kamala Harris; Sharon Lee, Director, Office of Multiple Pathways, Rhode Island Department of Education; Rebecca Boxx, Director, Providence Children and Youth Cabinet, Annenberg Institute for School Reform, Brown University; Terry Haven, Deputy Director, Voices for Utah Children; Lisa Wisham, Education Specialist, 21st Century Community Learning, Centers, Utah State Department of Education; Susan Loving, Transition Specialist, Utah State Department of Education; and from Attendance Works:  Hedy Chang, Director; Cecelia Leong, Associate Director; Phyllis Jordan, Communications Lead.


August 13, 2015

August 12, 2015

July 20-24, 2015

MEGA Conference 2015, Mobile, AL (Session 160)

MEGA Conference 2015, Mobile, AL (Session 215)

May 13, 2015

  • Start Strong: Address the Attendance Gap in the Early Grades (PDF)
  • Start Strong: Address the Attendance Gap in the Early Grades (Recording)
  • Download the discussion guide for this webinar
  • Download resources for Early Education Providers
  • Did you know that chronic absence affects one in 10 children in kindergarten and first grade nationwide? And that early childhood education can lay a foundation for better attendance in the years ahead? What happens when our very youngest learners miss so many opportunities to learn? Children who are chronically absent in kindergarten and first grade are much less likely to read proficiently by the end of third grade and are more likely to have poor attendance in later grades. Early childhood programs, schools and community partners can give young children a strong start. Our speakers will tell how they are using data, reaching out to families to offer support in overcoming common health challenges and developmental delays, and educating parents about the benefits of engaging programs and instruction in the early grades. Presenters: Marci Young, Vice President U.S. Network Impact, United Way Worldwide; William Carpluk, Manager, Alliance Engagement, America’s Promise Alliance; Serah S. Fatani, Director of Program Evaluation & Assessment, Office of Early Childhood Education, Chicago Public Schools; Leslie McKinily, Director of Preschool Programs, Chicago Public Schools; Bobbi MacDonald, Executive Director, City Neighbors Foundation; Kate Seidl, Reading Specialist & Librarian, City Neighbors Charter School; and from Attendance Works, Hedy Chang, Director; and Cecelia Leong, Associate Director.

April 15, 2015

  • Ready, Set, Go!  Launching Attendance Awareness Month 2015 (PDF)
  • Ready, Set, Go!  Launching Attendance Awareness Month 2015 (Recording)
  • Download the Discussion Guide for this webinar
  • Download the newly revised Count Us In! toolkit for 2015
  • Read more about California, including the Local Control Funding Formula and the Attorney General’s 2014 report “In School + On Track”
  • We invite you to join us in celebrating Attendance Awareness Month in September! Last fall, 324 communities across the country participated in Attendance Awareness Month, calling attention to the importance of school attendance. The time to start planning is now! This webinar is the first of four. It will provide updated resources for your school or community to use in planning and launching Attendance Awareness Month. Be inspired by the creative ways in which various groups drew attention to attendance and learn from our special guests how they rallied their communities to take action.  Presenters:  Eric Glaser, Director, Network Engagement and Performance,United Way Worldwide; William Carpluk, Manager, Alliance Engagement, America’s Promise Alliance; Jill Habig, Special Assistant Attorney General for California Attorney General Kamala Harris; Shauna McMillan, Program Manager, Be There Campaign; Kathryn Vargas, Manager of Programs for Children and Youth, United Way of Allegheny County; Kathy Hanafan, School Attendance Supervisor, Council Bluffs Schools; Dr. Martha Bruckner, Superintendent of Schools, Council Bluffs, Iowa; and from Attendance Works, Hedy Chang,Director; Cecelia Leong, Associate Director; Phyllis Jordan, Communications Lead.

March 17, 2015

  • Connecting Chronic Health Conditions with School Attendance:  Improving Data Collection and Use, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (Recording)
  • Connecting Chronic Health Conditions with School Attendance:  Improving Data Collection and Use, National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (Presentation slides, PDF)
  • This webinar highlights the relationship between chronic health conditions and absenteeism and the collection and use of attendance data in the management of chronic conditions in schools. It will discuss absenteeism including health-related absences as a barrier to learning, share information and examples on data collection and use in identifying and tracking students with chronic conditions and demonstrating reduced absences through efforts that improve student health, and offer guidance to begin work in this area. In addition, the webinar will feature innovative projects by the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Speakers include:  Hedy Chang, MPP, Director, Attendance Works; Nancy Dube, MPH, RN, President, National Association of State School Nurse Consultants and School Nurse Consultant, Maine Department of Education; Shirley Schantz, EdD, ARNP, RN, Director of Nursing Education, National Association of School Nurses; Cheryl De Pinto, MD, MPH, Medical Director, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Zachary Faigen, MSPH, Former Biosurveillance Epidemiologist, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

February 23, 2015

January 16, 2015

December 15, 2014

  • Safe Routes to School as a Tool to Address Chronic Absenteeism (PDF)
  • Safe Routes to School as a Tool to Address Chronic Absenteeism (Recording)
  • What is the relationship between student transportation and attendance? The Safe Routes to School National Partnership teams up with Attendance Works to explore how we can help students get to school every day. This webinar discusses how transportation can be a barrier to school attendance and highlight Safe Routes to School as a resource to help communities address chronic absenteeism. Panelists share community-based solutions, best practices, and opportunities to partner with organizations and groups that can be allies in ensuring students have access to safe and reliable transportation to school.  Speakers include:  Hedy Chang, Director, Attendance Works; Sara Zimmerman, Technical Assistance Director, Safe Routes to School National Partnership; John Gioia, District 1 Supervisor, Contra Costa County, California; Jane Ogilvie, Director School Support Services, Erie 1 BOCES, New York; Allyson Trenteseaux, Providence Children’s Initiative, Rhode Island.

November 13, 2014

September 30, 2014

  • The Power of Positive Connections: Reducing Chronic Absence Through PEOPLE  (PDF)
  • The Power of Positive Connections: Reducing Chronic Absence Through PEOPLE  (Recording)
  • Download the discussion guide
  • Download the Attendance Buddy Planning tool
  • Download the PEOPLE toolkit
  • We know that students who miss too much school suffer academically at every age and every grade. This September, hundreds of communities across the country are working hard to raise awareness about the harmful impact of chronic absence by celebrating Attendance Awareness Month. In addition to raising awareness, what else can your community do to encourage students and families to get to school every day?  Join us as we introduce the new Attendance Works toolkit, The Power of Positive Connections: Reducing Chronic Absence Through PEOPLE.  Use the PEOPLE strategy to learn how you can make students who are experiencing attendance challenges a Priority for Early Outreach this fall. Identify ways to encourage them through Positive Linkages to caring adults, enriching activities and needed supports such as health services so that they are Engaged and excited about coming to school. This webinar features Hedy Chang, Director of Attendance Works, and special guests including:  Don Olson, Superintendent, Del Norte County Unified School District, Del Norte, California; Paige Swan, Principal, Smith River Elementary School, Del Norte, California; Sarah Jonas, Senior Director of Regional Initiatives, National Center for Community Schools, The Children’s Aid Society; Dr. Joshua Solomon, Principal, Business of Sports School, New York City; Joe Vaverchak, Director, Attendance/Residency and McKinney Vento Liaison; Sarah Harris, Principal, Vance Village School, New Britain, Connecticut.

August 6, 2014

  • Can You Hear Us Now? Amplifying Key Messages About the Importance of Attendance (PDF)
  • Can You Hear Us Now? Amplifying Key Messages About the Importance of Attendance (Recording)
  • Download the Bringing Attendance Home toolkit
  • Download and view the Bringing Attendance Home video and discussion guide
  • Additional resources:  Student Attendance Success Plan and Parent Handouts
  • When parents and youth understand the link between good attendance and their hopes and dreams for the future, they are motivated to do whatever they can to get to school every day. When they hear that message from friends, mentors, teachers, counselors, pastors, coaches, doctors, business owners, mayors — in short, the entire community speaking with one voice — it can have a tremendous impact on student attendance. Join Hedy Chang, Director of Attendance Works, and a cross-section of speakers as they discuss how to engage youth and parents authentically in building a local culture of attendance, as well as share strategies for how to rally leaders from every walk of life to speak in unison during Attendance Awareness Month. Special guests include: Rebecca Boxx, Director of the Providence Children and Youth Cabinet; Nima Tahai, Principal of Garfield Elementary School, Oakland Unified School District; Lori Markowitz, Founder and Director, Youth Ambassador Program; and Marissa Dominguez, Youth Ambassador. Also featured are the latest resources from Attendance Works, including our teacher toolkit, Teaching Attendance; our forthcoming principal toolkit, Leading Attendance; cutting-edge tips on preventing chronic absence for students most at risk; and a new video tailored for parents of young children.

July 30, 2014

July 23, 2014

July 7, 2014

May 28, 2014

  • We Need You! Enlisting Allies for Your Attendance Campaign (PDF)
  • We Need You! Enlisting Allies for Your Attendance Campaign (Recording)
  • Have you considered enlisting additional allies in your community’s efforts to improve attendance? While most efforts begin naturally and logically with parents and school leaders, there are a number of other powerful allies who can play key roles starting with giving a big boost to Attendance Awareness Month this Fall.  Join our panelists as they share ideas about how to engage allies such as doctors and other health care providers, mayors and elected officials, social service agencies, national and community service programs, youth development organizations and many others. On the panel will be: Dr. Mandy Allison, Pediatrician and Executive Committee member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on School Health; Terra Gay, Director, Education Programs, Points of Light; S. Kwesi Rollins, Director of Leadership Programs, Institute for Educational Leadership which operates the Coalition of Community Schools; Dr. Tonja Rucker, Principal Associate, Early Childhood, The National League of Cities.

May 9, 2014

May 1, 2014

May 1, 2014

April 10, 2014

April 9, 2014