Positive Messaging

The goal of positive messaging is to help parents and students realize that daily attendance is key to reaching their dreams of a successful future. An intentional shift from using the threat of fines or court action to compel attendance, this approach starts with an emphasis on encouraging families to take advantage of the opportunity for their children to learn. It helps change behavior by debunking the myths that prevent families from recognizing that regular attendance should be a high priority as early as preschool.


  • 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.


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.


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

Tips for parents of children in the early grades, created by Attendance Works and Reach Out and Read.