Engage Students and Parents

Attendance improves when a school community offers a warm and welcoming environment that engages students and families and offers enriching learning opportunities. A key component of the engagement is helping families learn about the positive impact of good attendance and the negative effects of chronic absenteeism on realizing their hopes and dreams for their children. Parents may not realize that even excused absences can, if they accumulate, cause their children to fall behind and that building the habit of attendance in the early grades can influence their children’s chances of graduating from high school.


  • Created with the help of practitioners who have worked successfully with families to improve attendance, this toolkit is filled with ideas, activities and materials that you can use to spark conversations with parents. Download the full toolkit here.



These handouts can be downloaded for free and used in schools and community settings.

Tips for parents of children in the early grades:

Tips for parents with children in middle and high school students.

Tools for Teachers and Principals


The new school year means back-to-school night for parents and assemblies for students. These are ideal times to convey the link between attendance and student achievement and to build a culture of attendance.

Parent Summits or Back-to-School Events

Student Back-to-School Assemblies

For students, use an assembly at the start of September to introduce the topic. Also use this opportunity to explain to students why attending school is so important.  If possible, have some students speak about why going to school matters.

Attendance Exhibits

Promote good attendance in a display in the lobby of city hall, the school district’s central office, the main library or other public spaces. Retail shops and restaurants can put posters in their windows or on bulletin boards. If there is a student poster contest, decorate public spaces with the posters. Our Attendance Awareness Month Badge can be used in e-mail signatures and on websites.