Spring Attendance Slump

In the weeks before and after a school’s spring break, drops in attendance are common. If your student attendance data shows a spring slump, plan something to counter that trend.

Communicate the importance of showing up to school. Share guidance to prevent unnecessary health related absences. For example, remind students and families/caregivers that allergies are not a reason to stay home from school, and share how the school is prepared to help students with chronic illnesses like asthma. Partner with students and families to plan fun and engaging activities that encourage them to think, “I’m not going to miss school that day.” 

If families are experiencing economic challenges, organize an activity to help address these needs. For example, consider organizing a grocery distribution event at your school in partnership with a local food bank on the last day before break, or provide free fruit in classrooms. These activities tell families that the school staff care, and will help build relationships that encourage attendance and participation.

No matter what you decide to do, reflect on how your school community is weathering the pandemic. Take into account the energy level of school staff. Many are exhausted and cannot do one more thing. This is a great moment for community partners to pitch in. 

Spring Dip Resources for Schools and Districts
  • Send families a letter reminding them that instruction continues before and after the spring break. (Updated Feb. 2024)

  • Download our handout with activities that can encourage students to attend, participate and strengthen relationships.

  • Work with students and families to create or update a Student Attendance Success Plan.

  • The Edwards-Knox Central School planned a month of spirit activities and drawings to boost attendance during the pandemic. Read our blog post about their Month of Earning and Learning.

  • Download Sprinting through Spring, a calendar of sample daily spirit activities, that can be adapted for any month. Add or revise the activities to suit your school community and grade levels.

Learn More about the Spring Dip
  • How does attendance typically change over the course of a school year? This “heartbeat” chart showing daily attendance changes over the course of a school year was created by the Center for New York City Affairs with an interactive tool.

  • TASC and ExpandED Schools developed Avoiding the Attendance Slump: Strategies to Maximize Learning Time in June – A Resource Guide, for schools in New York. The guide provides insight into the drop in attendance and strategies to increase learning time and attendance.

Download social media materials to spread the word about the Spring Attendance Dip!

Updated March 2023