hard to believe, but we've already begun planning for Attendance
Awareness Month this September in partnership with America's
Promise Alliance, the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, Points of
Light and United Way Worldwide. Over 35 other national organizations
have already agreed to join us again to make sure everyone is aware
of the critical importance of going to class every day starting
with the first day of school!
first webinar is Tuesday, April 8, and will coincide with the
release of an expanded Count Us In! toolkit. Last year's version
was viewed more than 15,000 times. The April update of our toolkit
will include new tools for teachers packaged in our Teaching
Attendance toolkit, as well as a revamped Superintendents Call to
Action and guidelines for school board members.
also asking schools and communities to move beyond awareness
activities to take concrete steps toward reducing chronic absence.
We've created new data tools and we're adding a feature to our
Attendance Action Map for communities that are calculating chronic
hope you will join us in our campaign to improve attendance so
students have the opportunity to learn and achieve! We believe
attendance is even more important with the onset of Common Core,
which will make it even more difficult for students to make up for
lost time in the classroom.
In! (Again) for Attendance Awareness Month
Please join us as we work with national partners to
launch the second year of the Attendance Awareness Campaign, which
designates September as Attendance Awareness Month!
Tuesday, April 8, at 1 p.m. ET for a free webinar launching the
campaign and learn how to get involved! Register here for the webinar to hear how
communities such as Vero Beach, Fla., took action on attendance and
galvanized a broad coalition of civic leaders, educators, parents
Keep in mind
that we will hold another webinar, We Need You, on May 28 at 1 p.m.
ET. It will offer guidance about how to broaden the engagement of
community allies who can help promote Attendance Awareness
Month and address barriers to getting to school. Sign up here for updates.
Attendance" toolkit guides classroom interventions
Teachers play a key role in reducing chronic
absence, but what are the best strategies for teaching children -
and reinforcing to parents - the value of attendance?
Attendance: Everyday Strategies to Help Teachers Improve Attendance
and Raise Achievement, is designed to share
ideas, handouts and templates. Teachers know firsthand why
attendance is important because they witness how absences can
disrupt learning, not just for the absent student but for the
We hope our toolkit can help teachers build a
culture of attendance and maintain it throughout the school
year. We encourage teachers to draw from the resources we
have developed to help drive up attendance in your classroom
and throughout your school community.
tools flesh out patterns in chronic absence
Do you need
help with calculating chronic absence? We have just released
upgraded versions of our free data tools, including a spreadsheet
to combine the District Attendance Tracking Tool (DATT) output for
all grades. Read more about the DATTs on our website and register to use it.
tool combines K-12 chronic absence reports that show data for all
schools and across all grade levels in the district. We hope
schools and districts across the country will use these tools to
start reducing chronic absence.
highlights early literacy, attendance research
body of research documents the corrosive effect of chronic
absenteeism on early literacy skills, making a clear case for
families and schools to pay attention to this often overlooked
In a brief we created last month for the National
Center for Families Learning conference, we pulled together the
research showing how these missed days as early as preschool
translate into weaker reading skills.
also shows that the effects of poor attendance are particularly
pronounced among low-income children, who need more time in the
classroom to master reading and are less likely to have access to
resources outside of school to help them catch up. Unfortunately,
low-income children are four times more likely to be chronically
a common definition for chronic absence
A new brief released by the Data Quality Campaign and
Attendance Works shows that states are beginning to pay attention
to chronic absence, a metric that can identify students in need of
support and provide comparative data across states and
This new national
portrait shows that 45 states collect student-level information on
attendance, and 21 say they are tracking chronic absence. But only
11 of those actually define chronic absence as missing an excessive
amount of school for any reason, excused or unexcused.
At least 17
states say they are producing district and school level reports on
chronic absence rates. But again, variations in how states
understand and define chronic absence make it difficult to compare
Works is a national and state initiative that promotes awareness of
the important role that school attendance plays in achieving
academic success. It aims to ensure that every school in every
state not only tracks chronic absence data for its individual
students but also partners with families and community agencies to
help those children.
Be sure to
follow us on Twitter and Pinterest and like our Facebook page!
Superintendent's Call to Action
leaders committed to owning the attendance issue, driving with data
and mobilizing the community can join our Call to Action, which is
jointly sponsored with the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Sign up here to receive our updated
you love our online tools, resources, webinars and up-to-date
information on attendance research and news? Donate to Attendance
Your gift is tax deductible and will support forging a national
consensus on the need to monitor, report and address the effects of
chronic absence. I hope that you will stand with as and support our
work as we work to reduce chronic absence and achieve better
outcomes for all students.
Attendance Works would like to express its deep
appreciation to the foundations supporting our work nationally and in
communities across the country: The Annie E. Casey Foundation, The
California Endowment, The San Francisco Foundation, David and Lucile Packard
Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, William Caspar
Graustein Memorial Fund and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.