Did you know there are several easy steps that superintendents, district or school communication staff can do to boost student attendance and engagement at the start of the school year?
We collaborated with the California School Public Relations Association (CalSPRA) on five effective communication actions that can raise awareness about why showing up to school every day matters. Being in school has many benefits, from getting to know peers and adults at school in ways that support relationships that make it easier to attend, to gaining access to learning opportunities, basic resources and fun enrichment activities. Daily attendance is important for a student’s well-being, learning and long-term success.
Download a PDF with the five steps and resources!
Each of the five steps is followed by linked resources that can support attendance initiatives:
1. Welcome and connect. Attendance and participation improve when a school community offers a warm and welcoming environment that engages students and families.
a. Teachers can send a welcome call using the Flamboyan Welcome Call Strategy
b. Principals can send families a welcome letter
2. Convey the value of showing up to school. Families and students often aren’t aware of the benefits of being in school and how chronic absenteeism can present challenges to realizing their hopes and dreams.
a. Posters and social media resources
b. Use talking points from the Attendance Works Showing Up Matters for R.E.A.L. toolkit
c. Share videos from Children’s Aid, or create your own video that helps people understand the value of being in school
3. Encourage preparation for school. Developing routines or making back up plans for getting to school make daily attendance easier especially when challenges come up.
a. My Family’s Help Bank
b. Ready Set Go for PreK or Kindergarten
c. Family handouts for PreK-12
4. Offer clear health guidance. Reducing unnecessary health-related absences is critical to improving attendance.
a. Health handouts for families
5. Host special events. Back-to-school nights, assemblies, teacher conferences and special exhibits all provide opportunities to educate families about the value of regular attendance. Use these opportunities to orient parents/caregivers to school policies and connect them to helpful resources. If you have data for your school or community, share the information with parents.
a. Talking points for school leaders and educators
b. Interactive parent/caregiver exercises
c. Bringing Attendance Home video
d. Parent Teacher conference handout
We co-hosted a workshop with communication officers in districts and schools throughout California. Attendance Works and CalSPRA President Jessica Hull shared proven strategies for crafting compelling attendance messages tailored to diverse educational partners. We also shared creative ways free resources can support attendance initiatives.
Watch a recording of the CalSPRA, Attendance Works workshop,The Power of Communication: Driving Attendance Campaigns and Engagement.
Consult the Attendance Works usage policy if you would like to add a logo to the linked resources.