Expanded Learning (also known as Out of School Time) programs play a critical role in partnering with schools to support and reinforce good attendance habits. This Why Attendance Matters handout makes the case for why and how providers can make a difference.
Worksheet: Use this tool to examine whether your out of school time program has the right policies and practice in place to improve student attendance. If possible, find an opportunity for a team of key stakeholders to take the assessment. Compare your answers. If you have differences in opinion about an item, take the time to explore why you may have different perceptions and what that might mean for action steps.
Handout: This handout summarizes the research that connects afterschool programs with gains in school-day attendance.
- In 2012, United Way of Rochester, New York partnered with The Children’s Institute and the Rochester City School District to evaluate the effectiveness of its after-school programs. The results show that kids in United Way’s after-school programs attend 6,100 more days of school than their peers and their GPAs were .87 points higher than their classmates. Results from the first year evaluation showed that kids in after-school had a GPA increase of .25 points. Read the Impact Briefing and the full program evaluation report.
- Family League 2011-12 Out of School Time Programs in Baltimore City, October 2013. This report by the Baltimore Education Research Consortium examines the relationship between out-of-school time programs and school absence. Through the Family League’s education initiative, thousands of children in Baltimore have access to quality after school and summer learning opportunities. Among students who regularly attended OST programs, they had higher promotion rates than their peers, entered 6th and 9th grade with higher school attendance (important transition grades to middle and high school), and were significantly less likely to be chronically absent.
- More and Better Learning: Year One Report on ExpandED Schools, 2013. An analysis of data from The After-School Corporation’s (TASC) national demonstration of a longer school day shows that elementary and middle school students improved their academic achievement, attended school more often and benefitted from improvements in school culture.
- Effects of the FITKids Randomized Controlled Trial on Executive Control and Brain Function, Hillman, Charles H. et al., Pediatrics, September 29, 2014. This study found significant differences between students in the afterschool program and those on the wait list. Students in the intervention group improved two-fold when tested on accuracy and cognitive tasks compared to the students who did not participate in the afterschool program. Researchers found widespread changes in brain function, meaning greater amounts of executive control in the students that engaged in physical activity while participating in the afterschool program. Students in the program also improved both their overall fitness and their school attendance rates.
- View the presentation from at the National Summer Learning Association annual conference, October 26, 2016. Featuring Attendance Works and New Britain Connecticut, this workshop shows how afterschool and summer learning programs can help schools address this critical issue, which is now a required reporting metric under the Every Student Succeeds Act.
- Watch the October 25, 2012 webinar Attendance Matters: How Expanded Learning Opportunities Keeps Kids in School featuring solutions for combating chronic student absences in your community.
- Read the article Building a Culture of Attendance: Schools and Afterschool Programs Together Can and Should Make a Difference!, by Hedy Chang and Phyllis Jordan. Published by the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project, this article explains why quality afterschool programs can have such a profound effect on student attendance.
- View these materials from our April 2011 webinar on leveraging after school programs to increase attendance.
- Leveraging After School to Improve School Attendance (Video)
- Leveraging After School to Improve School Attendance (PDF)
- Afterschool Self-Assessment (PDF)
- Afterschool Attendance Survey (PDF)
- Application for Afterschool Attendance Survey (Word doc)