Provide Personalized Early Outreach
Perhaps the most critical strategy is using data to trigger early caring outreach to families and students who are already missing too many days of school. Such outreach is best carried out by an adult who has a strong relationship with the family, who can vary depending on the school or community. Outreach is essential for identifying barriers to attendance — hunger, health, shelter, transportation or other challenges — and the supports or resources that would help improve attendance. A new study of a New York City pilot program demonstrated that the “Success Mentors” program was the most successful strategy for combating chronic absence.
- New York City Principals’ Handbook on Success Mentors
- Strategies for leveraging volunteers and national service
- Sample confidentiality form for community-based organizations
- Sample confidentiality form for mentors
- City Year Student Engagement Toolkit
- RAMP Mentoring Sheet
- MENTOR toolkit for program managers
- MENTOR tips for individuals
- Check & Connect toolkit
- Check & Connect monitoring form
- Check & Connect assigns trained mentors to at-risk students to improve engagement with school and learning through close monitoring of their attendance, behavior, and grades.
- City Year uses AmeriCorps members who commit to a year of full-time service in schools, where they work as tutors, mentors and role models. Attendance is a key focus.
- RAMP: The Ready to Achieve Mentoring Program uses group, peer, and individual mentoring to build on existing career development efforts by schools and employers.