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.
PARENT ENGAGEMENT TOOLKIT
- 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.
HOST SPECIAL EVENTS
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
- Tips for school meetings
- Get Schooled Attendance Counts Calculator
- Talking points for principals for parents of secondary school kids
- Talking points for principals for parents of elementary school kids
- Interactive parent exercises
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.
- Talking points for principals and teachers addressing students
- Examples of student messaging for teens
- Tips for Developing Incentives
- Perfect Attendance Program from French Toast
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.
- Attendance Works Info Graphic
- Attendance Month Banners and Posters in English and Spanish
- Attendance Month Badges in English and Spanish
- Campaign for Grade-Level Reading Banner
- BoostUp Celebrity Posters
Tips for parents with children in middle and high school students.
- Middle/high school flyer (1 page)
- Middle/high school flyer in Spanish (1 page)
- Middle/high school flyer (2 pages with policy tips)
- Middle/high school flyer in Spanish (2 pages with policy tips)
Tips for parents of children in the early grades, created by Attendance Works and Reach Out and Read.
- Elementary school handout
- Elementary school handout in Spanish
- Elementary school handout in Chinese
- Elementary school handout (with policy tips)
- Elementary school handout in Spanish (with policy tips)
MORE TIPS AND TOOLS
- Talking Points for Interacting with Families
- Tips for Outreach Before the First Day of School
- Tips on One-on-One Meetings
- Sample Back-to-School Letters
- Script for Back-to-School Robocalls
- Pledge Cards for Parents
- Pledge Card for Parents (Spanish)
- Info Graphic on Attendance in the Early Grades
- Info Graphic on Attendance in the Early Grades (Spanish)
- Perfectly Punctual workshops for parents
- Tips for contacting hard-to-reach parents
- Sample student survey