Recognize Good and Improved Attendance
Recognition of good or improved attendance should be part of creating a school-wide culture and accompanied by a deep commitment to ensuring students are engaged in the school community and the classroom once they show up. It is one part of a tiered attendance system.
Keep in mind, the strategy is not to award perfect attendance for a semester or the school year, since the children who struggle will soon be left out. Perfect attendance recognition could encourage students to show up when they are too sick to be in school. Consider how the incentive or contest can be more inclusive for students with special healthcare needs.
Remember the goal: relationships, recognition and incentives are positive ways to help students internalize the value of showing up every day. Recognition is not meant to be a bribe.
When working with high school students, provide a certificate or letter demonstrating they have a habit of good attendance, which can be used when applying for jobs. Businesses can donate gift certificates or movie tickets.
Updated July 2023