like to personally thank everyone who got involved with Attendance Awareness
Month in September. We had an extraordinary show of support
with more than 1,300 schools and communities coming together-along
with superintendents, governors and mayors -- to convey the message
that absences add up, even when they're excused, even when they come
in kindergarten or pre-kindergarten.
next step is to turn this awareness into action. Toward that end,
we're rolling out a new toolkit today to help educators find
schools that are achieving high rates of attendance despite
challenging circumstances. We're hosting a webinar in November to
highlight how school communities are using data to shape their work
with students. And we're encouraging policy makers and advocates
throughout the country to use our new policy brief, The Attendance
Imperative, to examine how they might improve attendance
policy in their own states.
Helps Districts Identify What Works
Do you have a
school in your district that is beating the odds, recording higher
attendance rates than schools with similar student populations? If
so, do you know why?
absence data not only can reveal the scope of attendance problems
but also pinpoint the schools with the practices and
leadership that are making a difference.
toolkit, What Works in Our
Community, will help you look beyond the numbers and find out
how these positive outliers are bringing more kids to school every
day. Through a series of templates, tips for site visits and
questions for stakeholders, the toolkit shows how districts can:
about effective practices that others could replicate.
innovative site leaders who can inspire others.
Explore Shift from Awareness to Action
A Nov. 6
webinar will detail the best strategies for monitoring attendance
data and intervening with chronically absent students. Speakers
from Portland, Ore.; Oakland, Calif., and New Bedford, Mass., will
discuss such ideas as creating cross-disciplinary attendance teams
at local schools and developing personalized outreach to at-risk
students and families.
webinar, sponsored by the United Way Worldwide and Attendance
Works, will run from 1-2:30 p.m. (EST). To register, click here.
Awareness Month By the Numbers
There is no
way to quantify the enthusiasm and energy we encountered across the
country during September's nationwide focus on attendance. But we
can offer a few metrics that demonstrate the movement's reach:
people from 49 states and the District of Columbia joined our
schools and communities in 42 states and the District of
Columbia pinned events and activities on the Community
national organizations signed on as partners, helping to
spread the word, blog about attendance and create toolkits.
news articles, blogs and commentary pieces appeared in
least 20 mayors issued proclamations.
#schooleveryday hashtag on Twitter was used more than 5,000
planning to mark Attendance Awareness Month again next year and
want to hear what your school or community did and what would make
next year even more successful. Please fill out our short,
anonymous survey here.
We also saw
some terrific posters, videos and toolkits developed across the
country. We'll be posting some materials on our website so if
you have something you'd like to share, send to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brief Underscores Role for States
in several states now are tracking attendance data more carefully
and holding schools and districts accountable for absenteeism rates
at all ages, according to a policy brief released by Attendance
Works in September.
Imperative outlines the steps that states can take to reduce
chronic absence including: building public awareness; tracking and
publicly reporting chronic absence rates for schools and districts;
using attendance as a metric in school improvement efforts; sharing
best practices with educators and parents, and enabling interagency
includes a summary of
what states already are doing to promote better attendance policy
and reduce chronic absence.
Study Shows Absenteeism Problems Start in PreK
As many as a
third of Chicago preschoolers are chronically absent and those
absences correlate with academic and attendance problems in later
grades, according to a study released
in September by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago
which follows 25,000 three- and four-year-olds served by Chicago
Public Schools' preschool programs, found that 45 percent of
3-year-olds and more than one-third of 4-year-olds missed at least
10 percent of the 2011-12 school year.
patterns are particularly problematic for students who start school
with the weakest skills. Those children are the most likely to benefit
from regular preschool attendance but also the most likely to be
implications of this research stretch far beyond Chicago, showing
conclusively that attendance matters in the earliest grades.
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!
Attorney General Kamala Harris released a comprehensive report
about the need to address chronic absence and truancy starting in
New Britain created this video that shows how
attending preschool regularly can get children ready for
kindergarten and reading.
The Ad Council created this animation of Attendance Works
infographic on attendance in the early grades.
School Attendance Gets a Closer Look,
The Washington Post, September 15, 2013
How California Should Deal With Truancy,
The LA Times, September 30, 2013
The Value of Showing Up, The
Baltimore Sun, September 29, 2013
Ohio Schools Need to Focus on Chronic Absence,
September 25, 2013
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
Memorial Foundation and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.